Why Sonny Gray might accept the Twins qualifying offer
If going to a winning team that is well-positioned to contend for a World Series with Gray at the top of the rotation is something that he'll look for, the Twins fit the bill.
Barring some sort of massive setback, the Twins are going to be really good next season. The AL Central remains weak, the roster is going to get better, and the path to tehe postseason is pretty clear. Not only that, but the expectation is that the Twins will seriously compete for a World Series in 2024, which matches the sales pitch other teams in a similar position might have.
If anything, the Twins might have the trump card that puts them over the top of all those other teams. Gray could have all the benefits of pitching for a contender without needing to uproot his family. He's mentioned more than once how his wife and kids will factor into his decision as much as anything else, and staying in Minnesota means not having to go through moving again.
He also has a firm place in the rotation. If he were to go to San Francisco or Boston, he could end up as a front-end starter or a No. 3 guy. In Minnesota, he knows his place and can be locked in as the No. 2 starter behind Pablo Lopez.
It makes a ton of practical sense for him to return, and coming back to a comfortable and secure situation for $20.3 million doesn't sound like too bad of a deal.