The Minnesota Twins took their first significant step toward restocking their starting pitching, acquiring right-hander Sonny Gray in a trade on Sunday with the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds included minor league right-hander Francis Peguero in the deal for Twins pitching prospect Chase Petty, who was their first-round draft pick last year.
The 32-year-old Gray, a two-time All-Star, went 7-9 with a 4.19 ERA and 155 strikeouts over 135 1/3 innings in 26 starts last season, his third with the Reds. Over nine years in the majors with the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees and Reds, Gray has a career record of 82-72 with a 3.61 ERA. Since 2014, he is tied for eighth among right-handers in baseball with 204 starts.
In the final guaranteed season of the deal he signed with the Reds to complete a trade from the Yankees in 2019, Gray will make a little more than $10 million. The Twins hold a club option for 2023 that comes without a buyout. Gray was one of the most obvious and valuable trade chips for Cincinnati, coming off a so-so 83-79 season.
Gray will slot right in at the top of Minnesota’s rotation, which was ravaged last year by the trade of Jose Berrios and the elbow injury to Kenta Maeda that will keep him out for most or all of 2022. Michael Pineda became a free agent and could re-sign if the price is right.
Otherwise, behind Gray, the Twins have Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan coming off promising rookie seasons, Randy Dobnak recovering from an injury-spoiled 2021 and reclamation project Dylan Bundy, who was signed as a free agent right before the lockout.
The 24-year-old Peguero, a native of the Dominican Republic, was signed as an international free agent by the Reds in 2017. He spent the 2021 season as a reliever for High-A affiliate Dayton, posting a 4.96 ERA in 28 appearances.
The 18-year-old Petty was selected by the Twins with the 26th pick last summer out of Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, New Jersey. The right-hander appeared in two minor league games last season.