Jon Gray, Colorado Rockies
Not only was Jon Gray the top starting pitcher on MLBTR’s early trade candidate list, but he was also the top overall player. Beating out the likes of teammate Trevor Story and Seattle outfielder Mitch Haniger, the veteran right-hander sits alone as the top trade target here in 2021.
When it comes to the Phillies, somehow landing Gray would be quite the pickup.
Not only would he give the Phillies one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball, one that runs four deep instead of three, but he would also allow ownership to stay under the luxury tax (something John Middleton clearly wants to do). Gray is currently making just $6 million – an extremely low salary for someone of his ability.
Bouncing back from a rough 2020 campaign, Gray is 4-5 with a 3.71 ERA. He’s averaging just under 6.0 innings pitched per start, and his 0.9 fWAR clocks in as the 45th best in baseball at the moment.
As the Phillies offense continues to underperform, looking to solidify their rotation beyond Wheeler/Nola/Eflin would be one way to attack a “quick fix” this season. An unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, Dombrowski could also look to extend Gray upon hypothetically acquiring him, setting the team’s pitching staff up for better success in 2022 and beyond.
However, with Gray set to be a hot commodity at this year’s deadline, one has to assume that the Phillies and their starved minor league talent pool will get outbid.