Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeda reach deals elsewhere; Twins to get draft pick for Gray’s departure

Two members of the Twins’ 2023 pitching rotation have found new homes.

Kenta Maeda and Sonny Gray both reportedly reached deals, becoming two of the first starting pitchers to come off the free-agent board. Maeda agreed to a two-year pact for $24 million with the Detroit Tigers, per reports, on Sunday, and Gray reportedly is headed to the St. Louis Cardinals on a three-year, $75 million deal.

Because Gray has agreed to a deal that is worth more than $50 million after declining the Twins’ qualifying offer, the Twins will be receive a draft pick between the first round and Competitive Balance Round A. Gray, 34, had talked about wanting to test the free-agent market for the first time in his career before rejecting the one-year, $20.325 million qualifying offer from the Twins.

While the Twins have Chris Paddack to step into a rotation spot — he missed most of last season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery before returning at the end of the year as a reliever — adding another member to the rotation will be an offseason priority. And replacing Gray, who finished as the American League Cy Young Award runner-up in his second season in Minnesota, won’t be easy, particularly for a team that is expected to cut payroll this offseason.

Gray was an all-star in 2023, posting a 2.79 earned-run average in 32 starts for the Twins. He threw 184 innings and did not miss a start all season. Maeda had a rocky start to the season and then spent some time dealing with an arm injury but finished 2023 with a 4.23 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) for the Twins.

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