Cardinals sign Sonny Gray to three-year contract

2023 American League Cy Young Award Runner-Up is a Three-Time All-Star

November 27th, 2023

ST. LOUIS, Mo., November 27, 2023 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have signed right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray to a three-year (2024-26) contract that also includes a club option for 2027.

Gray, 34, the 2023 American League Cy Young Award runner-up to Gerrit Cole, was 8-8 with a 2.79 ERA (2nd in A.L.) and 183 strikeouts over 184.0 innings pitched and 32 starts for the A.L. Central Champion Minnesota Twins. His 2.83 Fielding Independent Pitching was tops in Major League Baseball.

““We are pleased to welcome Sonny to the St. Louis Cardinals organization,” said Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “Like our recent free-agent additions, Sonny is a pitcher that can be counted on to provide innings depth, veteran major league experience, and most importantly – he had a strong desire to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals. This is an exciting day for the Cardinals organization.”

Gray’s acquisition, as well as the recent signings of free agents Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson, gives the Cardinals four of the majors’ top-25 pitchers in innings pitched from 2023: Miles Mikolas (201.1, 4th), Gibson (192.0, T12th), Gray (184.0, 22nd) and Lynn (185.2, 23rd). In addition, Lynn (1889.0), Gibson (1696.0) and Gray (1571.0) are all ranked in the top-20 among active pitchers in career innings pitched.

A Tennessee native, Gray allowed only eight home runs over 184.0 innings pitched in 2023 for a Major League-best 0.39 home runs/9 IP ratio, the lowest mark by any starting pitcher in a single season with 180 or more innings pitched since his career began in 2013. That mark would rank as the second-lowest by any St. Louis Cardinals pitcher in the Wild Card Era (since 1995) behind only Chris Carpenter (0.33 in 2009).

Over his 11 Major League seasons from 2013-23 with the Athletics (2013-17), Yankees (2017-18), Reds (2019-21) and Twins (2022-23), Gray has compiled a 98-85 career record with a 3.47 ERA over 270 career starts and 279 overall appearances.

Originally selected in the 1st round (18th overall) of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft out of Vanderbilt University, Gray ranks in the top-20 among active Major League pitchers in ERA (3.47, 7th), opponent batting average (.230, 7th), strikeouts (1521, 20th), innings pitched (1571.0, 18th), winning percentage (.536, 20th) and WHIP (1.20, 10th).

Gray set a Major League record with 48 consecutive starts allowing six hits or less by a “non-opener” from August 25, 2018-May 5, 2021. From 2018-23, Gray held his opposition to two runs or less in 90 starts, fifth-most among MLB pitchers over that period behind only Gerrit Cole (112), Blake Snell (108), Max Scherzer (102) and Charlie Morton (93). During the 2019 season, Gray also posted a career-high with 23.0 consecutive scoreless innings.

Gray has been selected to three All-Star teams, twice for the American League (2015, 2023), and once for the National League (2019). The 5’10”, 195-pound Gray has made six postseason starts, compiling a 1-3 record with a 3.26 ERA. His first career postseason victory came in this year’s A.L. Wild Card Series, as he helped the Twins clinch their first postseason series win since 2002 in a series sweep over Toronto.

In addition to this year’s runner-up finish, Gray also had top-10 Cy Young Award finishes in 2015 (placing 3rd in the American League behind Dallas Keuchel and David Price) and in 2019 (7th place in the National League).