One of the biggest storylines of the offseason for the Minnesota Twins will be what happens with Sonny Gray.
He has a qualifying offer coming his way but there's a growing sense that he'll decline that and hit free agency. He sounded thankful but non-commital to Minnesota in his exit interview following the ALDS loss, which seems to suggest he's no sure-thing to return.
Twins fans have been split on whether they want him back, but he'd enter winter as one of the top fre agents on the market and the top pitcher for teams to pursue. If he doesn't accept the Twins qualifying offer, he'll have a long line of teams looking to give him what he wants after the season he put together in Minnesota.
5 teams that could steal Sonny Gray in free agency
Los Angeles Dodgers
Are the Los Angeles Dodgers going to react to an embarrassing October performance by trying to spend their way out of it? Who could have seen this coming?
No matter what happens the rest of the postseason, nothing will top the Dodgers getting swept out of the NLDS after finishing the season with 100 wins. It was diabolically hilarious to everyone who isn't a Dodgers fan, but it might result in the team trying to overcompensate this winter.
Gray put together the kind of season that feels tailor-made for the Dodgers to get way too excited about. He'll finish close to a Cy Young, is a veteran starter who has postseason experience, and can fit right in alongside Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw (assuming he returns). It might also create a perfect situation that leads him away from Minnesota, too, as Los Angeles can offer both contention and top dollar.
St. Louis Cardinals
This one has already been teased, as USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that the Cardinals plan to 'strongly pursue' Gray this winter.
It makes sense, since the Cardinals are coming out of a down year where the team missed the playoffs and finished in last place. That's pretty far below the standard St. Louis has set, and it's not hard to imagine the team doing all it can to climb out of that hole.
Gray fits the bill.
St. Louis is going to try and rebuild its rotation, with one target being Shota Imanaga who would pair nicely with Gray as offseason additions. The Cards already have Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz seemingly locked into their rotation, and Gray might come in and serve as the No. 1 starter.