Although there are multiple teams looking to add a top-of-the rotation starter this offseason, there are also quite a few elite arms available on both the free agent and trade market.
The top available starting pitcher is Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and he’s joined by Blake Snell, Sonny Gray, Clayton Kershaw, Corbin Burnes, Dylan Cease, Tyler Glasnow and Shane Bieber as the notable pitchers that could be had. Aaron Nola was also a free agent but re-signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the teams in the market for a top-tier starter, but they may have to cross one of those names off their list of potential options. According to Buster Olney of ESPN, Gray is looking to sign with a team near his home in Tennessee on the East Coast, noting the Atlanta Braves as his preferred destination:
Some evaluators and agents believe that Gray, a Cy Young finalist, prefers to land closer to his home state of Tennessee. “I think he would love to play for the Braves,” said one agent, “like deGrom did last year.”
Gray is coming off a fantastic season with the Minnesota Twins where he posted a 2.79 ERA, 2.83 FIP and 1.15 WHIP across 184 innings, which earned him a second place finish in the American League Cy Young Award voting.
The three-time All Star also struck out 183 batters, almost exactly one per inning, while walking 55. He also limited the long ball extremely well with just eight home runs given up on the season, which comes out to 0.39 per nine innings.
Over the course of his career, the 34-year-old owns a 3.47 ERA and 3.57 FIP in 1,571 innings of work with 1,521 strikeouts to 544 walks.
Among all the available free-agent aces, Gray should receive the shortest contract because of his age, but that may be beneficial for him earning a higher average annual salary than some of his counterparts.
Aaron Nola joined Sonny Gray with city preference
While Gray just wants to be closer to home, Nola had a different preference on his city as a free agent. The Dodgers reportedly made an offer of $165 million to Nola, but the right-hander is not a fan of the city of Los Angeles.
Nola previously stated he wished to stay with the Phillies as well and ended up signing with them for $172 million.
Source: Dodger Blue