The Colorado Rockies have slightly more than 48 hours to decide on whether or not they want to trade right-handed starting pitcher Jon Gray to a team or not. While Gray undoubtedly has a lot of potential suitors, the Rockies could still look to keep Gray and offer him a qualifying offer this offseason and/or extend him long-term. One of the many teams that have at least expressed interest in improving their starting rotation is the Philadelphia Phillies.
On Tuesday, the Phillies nearly had a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates that would have sent former Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Anderson across the state. However, one of the physicals on one of the prospects the Pirates would have received was not clean.
Therefore, the Pirates nixed the deal and they ended up trading Anderson across the country to Seattle.
With the news on Tyler Anderson, we know that the Philadelphia Phillies are definitely in the market for starting pitching so why not Colorado Rockies starter Jon Gray? Last week, we made the case for why the Phillies need Jon Gray more than ever before and, frankly, they need Gray even more than they did a week ago.
Especially now, the Philadelphia Phillies would be making a huge mistake if they don’t trade for Jon Gray
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Since that article we had last week, their starter’s ERA since June 15 has ballooned from 4.93 to 5.25, which is 24th in baseball in that span. As we mentioned, their second-best starter on the season, Zach Eflin, went on the IL with patella tendonitis and outside of their ace, Zach Wheeler, and Aaron Nola, everyone else has struggled.
Outside of those three, the lowest ERA by any Phillies pitcher that has started at least one game is Vince Velasquez’s 5.54 ERA. Even Eflin and Nola have not been great as they have ERA’s of 4.17 and 4.37, respectively. Both of those amount to an ERA+ that is below league average (95 and 91).
With Jon Gray, the Phillies would immediately have someone that could slot into the second spot in their rotation and the second-best starting pitcher on the trade market. Realistically, Jon Gray is actually the best starter that they can get as Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer could veto any trade that he wants with his 10-and-5 rights (10 years in the majors and 5 with the same team). Also, the Nationals are highly unlikely to trade Scherzer within the division.
On the season, Gray has gone 6-6 with a 3.67 ERA in 18 starts with an ERA+ of 126.
The Phillies starting rotation would still not be great but it would be much improved with Gray. Without Gray, the Phillies have shown that they do not have the pitching talent to make the playoffs so, in other words, the Phillies have to decide whether or not they want to make the playoffs. They have decided that they are buyers so the Rockies should be in the driver’s seat on getting top dollar in negotiations from the Phillies.