The blow of losing Jon Gray to the Texas Rangers is frustrating for Colorado Rockies fans in how predictable it all was. Gray was arguably a top-10 arm on the market with a 4.59 ERA and a 9.5 K/9. He’s, arguably, the best pitcher the Rockies have ever drafted and developed in franchise history.
He was even more appealing as a free agent because no club would have to give up a draft pick to sign him since the Rockies did not first trade him at the deadline and did not offer him a qualifying offer as they did with Trevor Story. It’s a shame for the team but a great victory for Gray to see what he can do outside of Coors Field. Every Rockies fan can appreciate that for how great he has been on the field and in the clubhouse.
The Colorado Rockies will have a hard time replacing Jon Gray
The two biggest pitching names in free agency went off the board in the same day. Max Scherzer signed a contract with the Mets that will make him more money annually than the Orioles and Pirates entire payrolls. Then the AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray signed with the Seattle Mariners from the Toronto Blue Jays. While we’d love to live in an alternate universe and pretend like those are attainable free agents for the Colorado Rockies to replace Gray, here are some viable right-handed options that could be a fit next season.
To be fair though, the front office’s track record of signing any free agents is certainly not awe inspiring so these are merely suggestions.
The Colorado Rockies could look at Dylan Bundy
Dylan Bundy pitched great in 2020 with a 3.29 ERA but he couldn’t sustain it over a full season after that as he posted a 6.08 ERA. It was a story illuminating to the larger picture of the Angels pitching woes last season. He needs to reestablish themselves and if he can do that in half a season with the Rockies and establish some trade value by the deadline, then it could be a win-win for both sides.
Alex Cobb would also be in the same boat as Bundy but the San Francisco Giants are finalizing a deal with him now.
Zach Davies could be another option for the Colorado Rockies
In a similar vein, there is RHP Zach Davies who last played for the Chicago Cubs. He was part of the combined no-hitter the Cubs through at the end of June but then they went on a severe losing streak and essentially ended their season culminating in the fire sale of the core that brought them the 2016 championship. Davies season kind of went in a similar direction. While he pitched well for the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres in his career, that didn’t extend to the full length of the season with his debut with the Cubs.
While Davies had a 5.78 ERA last season, the good news is that he was durable after notching 32 starts. He is still 29 and could just use the time to re-establish what he built when he was on contending teams. None of these are given, though. Heck, it’d be really nice to get Zack Greinke in the later parts of his career but the management’s choices around Gray and Story’s contracts continue to keep us grasping for straws and keep our head in the cloud’s for something more.