Sonny Gray was down to Diamondbacks, Reds and Cardinals in free agency

Mar 10, 2024, 7:34 PM | Updated: 7:36 pm

Sonny Gray...

Sonny Gray #54 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium on February 27, 2024 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Rarely does an MLB free agent signee open up about the teams whom he decided between, but Sonny Gray took fans deeper into his decision this winter on the Foul Territory podcast last week.

Gray, who signed a three-year contract worth $75 million with the St. Louis Cardinals, said his decision came down to three teams: Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks.

“There were other teams, there were probably four or five teams before St. Louis and we went deeper into talks with a few other teams to be honest with you,” Gray said. “I went to bed a couple nights thinking the next day I’m gonna sign with this team. It is what is it is.”

The 34-year-old was one of the first free agents to sign in an otherwise slow winter for player movement. The right-hander was the 2023 American League Cy Young runner-up with the Minnesota Twins after leading the league with a 2.83 FIP (2.79 ERA) in 32 starts.

Gray said he ultimately came down to St. Louis and Cincinnati, having pitched for the Reds from 2019-21.

The Reds pivoted and signed pitchers Nick Martinez and Frankie Montas, the latter of whom will be their Opening Day starter.

Arizona made a splash at the end of the Winter Meetings by signing left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez to a four-year, $80 million deal with an option for a fifth season to balance out the rotation.

“When we sat down at the beginning of free agency after the season and you list all 30 teams, (St. Louis) was definitely a team that was right there at the top,” Gray said. “Free agency is weird — it was cool and it was awesome — but it was also very weird because then you go down this rabbit hole of like you can see yourself and your family in this situation.”

Gray did not elaborate why he did not end up a member of the Diamondbacks, and instead he will compete for a fellow National League team with postseason aspirations.

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Sonny Gray was down to Diamondbacks, Reds and Cardinals in free agency