We've officially reached the offseason, and the Minnesota Twins are slowly starting to set up moves that will hopefully take the team to the next level in 2024.
It's a mission that got a lot harder with reports that the payroll is expected to shrink by roughly $20 million this winter. That's a giant dissapointment after the season the Twins put together, specifically in October when a 19-year playoff streak finally ended.
Fans assumed that would be the start of a new chapter for the team, but hearing that the payroll is being slashed is a massive letdown.
One thing the news does is seemingly confirm what will happen with a major decision the that needs to be made this offseason. Sonny Gray is a Cy Young finalist, but he's also a free agent and expected to test the open market for the first time in his career.
Minnesota extended a qualfying offer to him this week, but it would be a stunner if he accepted it. Gray is due to make triple what the one-year payout would be if he returned to Minnesota, and already potential suitors are lining up and readying their offers.
Twins Rumors: Phillies expected to be 'top suitor' for Sonny Gray
According to MLB insider Jon Morosi, the Philadelphia Phillies will be considered a 'top suitor' for Gray if they fail to bring back Aaron Nola.
If it didn't already seem apparent, it's looking more and more like Gray is as good as gone.
What this also tells us is how other teams are viewing him. Philadelphia sees him as a potential replacement for Nola, who was the team's ace, and the Phillies aren't the only team that has that sort of mark on Gray.
It's pretty clear that the market everyone expected for Gray is starting to come into focus. He's projected to make at least $60 million on a three year deal, and the idea that multiple teams see him as an ace suggests we're in for a bidding war.
Minnesota is arguably priced out even at the qualifying offer of $20.3M, but the front office still extended the offer. That might be the last we hear of the Twins in the Sonnt Gray sweepstakes, though, as his rising price and a shrinking payroll don't make a great pairing.