9. Jon Gray
Gray is the first pitcher to make the list following Kershaw. Gray may not be the most talented pitcher or have the highest ceiling on the market but Gray would be an integral signing. Gray could be had for a Texas Rangers’ favorite three year deal, but given he’s turned down a similar deal it might take a four year agreement. He would still run in the range of $12-14 million a year making him affordable enough to be a secondary singing.
Gray comes with a high hopes of meeting lofty expectations. Gray was the third overall selection in 2013 but has never met the expectations of being drafted that high. The career owner of a 4.59 ERA, he didn’t help his free agent case much by matching that ERA in 2021. He has managed to carry an ERA+ of over 100 in 4 of his 7 seasons, meaning he has consistently been better than average.
Signing him would be made difficult though if he looks for something similar to Eduardo Rodriguez, as his value comes is affordability with the prospect of improvement. He could be the next reclamation project i.e. Gibson/Lynn/Minor.