Seattle Mariners Should Pursue Jon Gray in Free Agency

Alex Van Dyken
DENVER, CO - JULY 14: Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field on July 14, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 14: Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field on July 14, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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When the Mariners season came to an end on October 3rd it was obvious the Mariners were going to have to do something about their starting pitchers. Entering into the scene is Jon Gray aka the Gray Wolf.

Having to use Tyler Anderson three times in nine days because the pitchers that you had at the end of the year, either from injury or from just bad play, couldn’t be trusted to pitch, was a disaster. Over the course of the year the Mariners used a total of 15 different starting pitchers. A couple of those “starters” were actually bullpen games because they didn’t have enough healthy starters to go. So it seems obvious to me that that is where they need to make at least one addition.

Jon Gray would be a great pickup for the Seattle Mariners

Jon Gray was the 3rd overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Rockies. As a 6’4”, 225lb righty, he fits the typical build of a traditional, front of the rotation guy, and at times in his career his play matched his God-given build. Even while pitching in a ballpark that most would consider to be the most hitter friendly ballpark in baseball, he held his own where most fail. He also played on a team with two winning seasons in the seven years he was with the major league ball club.

With a career ERA of 4.59 it’s easy to see why some may overlook him as a top of the rotation guy, but if you look a little closer you see a player ready for a new opportunity and a fresh start with a team that is not Colorado. He has a career FIP of 3.91 and has averaged over a strikeout an inning every year, except the one that most agree doesn’t count. His fastball sits at 95mph and is paired with his hard slider approaching the plate at 87mph. This is what makes me want the Mariners to take a chance on the Gray Wolf.

Now to the money. Gray has potential to be a player that will receive a Qualifying Offer, but he is not the only one on the Rockies roster. Another contender is the scrappy shortstop, Trevor Story. (need to add one more sentence) I think that both will turn down the QO and go to test the market.

So, what does Jon Gray want to do? Go for a 1 year deal and try to boost his value away from Coors Field, or does he want to just try and get as much as he can now? People are very divided on him, some value him as a 10-12 million a year player while others are closer to 20 million a year. He could also get anywhere from a 1 year to a 5 year contract. If it was me I would attempt to do a 5 year, 80 million dollar deal.

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I have been a fan of Gray’s for a few years now, trying to convince people that this is a pitcher the Mariners should acquire. He is a dynamic, powerful, and reliable starting pitcher… WHICH IS WHAT THE MARINERS NEED. If the Mariners can get him for a 5 year, 80 million dollar deal I would be happy.  The Mariners need to step up and make a commitment to adding some quality pitchers to the starting rotation or we will never get very far into October.

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