One of the biggest questions heading into the offseason for the Minnesota Twins is what the future holds for Cy Young finalist Sonny Gray.
He turned down a $20.3 million qualifying offer from the Twins earlier this month, something that wasn't that surprising to see happen. After the year Gray put together, the belief is that he will secure a pretty hefty bag in free agency, and will get to choose where he pitches next season for the first time in his career.
It's crazy to think that Gray is on what could be the final big contract of his career and is only now testing free agency for the first time. It's one of the many reasons it makes sense for him to reject the Twins qualifying offer, but is giving teams around the league a reason to try and lure him away from Minnesota.
Orioles listed as landing spot for Sonny Gray in free agency
Mark Feinsand took a look at the best free agent target for each team this winter, with one of the only rules being a player can only appear once on the list. That's why Gray being mentioned with the Baltimore Orioles is so notable.
"The Orioles ranked in the middle of the league with a 4.14 rotation ERA, getting a breakout season from Kyle Bradish (2.83 ERA in 30 starts). Following its 101-win season, Baltimore is likely to look for help near the top of the rotation, which Gray – whose 2.79 ERA ranked second in the AL – could help to stabilize," Feinsand wrote.
We've heard a handful of teams already linked to Gray, but the Orioles aren't very high on the list -- if at all. Maybe it's been mentioned in one of the millions of corners the rumor mill winds have blown, but this is the first I'm hearing Gray and the Orioles mentioned together by someone prominent.
It's worth noting that Feinsand isn't reporting that there's interest, rather his expertise has led him to make the pairings he did. Gray has been mentioned with NL contenders like Atlanta and Philadelphia, but the AL teams in line for him haven't been as easy to identify.
Then again, Gray is one of the top free agents on the market this winter, so there is no shortage of teams that could make sense as landing spots. The Orioles coming off the season they put together -- and the way it ended -- seem like a fit for a veteran like Gray. He can come in and lead the rotation and would give a young team some experience it could benefit from.
We'll wait and see if there's any actual interest from the Orioles, but it makes sense and they seems to be yet another team in a long line of interest for Gray this winter.