Cincinnati Reds starter Sonny Gray was named the Reds 2020 Opening Day starter following his All-Star 2019 season and enters the 2021 campaign as one of the Reds' most accomplished pitchers.
Since arriving in Cincinnati following a trade with the Yankees before the 2019 season, Gray is 16-11 with a 3.07 ERA in 42 starts. Last season, in 11 starts, Gray, 31, was 5-3 in 11 starts with a 3.70 ERA, but carried a 1.94 ERA in five starts in August.
2021 Cincinnati Reds questions:Who will be the Opening Day starter?
Gray went on the disabled list in September and returned in time to be available in the playoffs.
In his first season in Cincinnati, Gray was 11-8 with 2.87 ERA in 31 starts with a career-high 205 strikeouts.
The Reds traded prospect Shed Long to the Yankees, who sent Long to the Mariners afterwards. The Reds even received a prospect from the Yankees, Reiver Sanmartin, in the deal.
Here are a few more things to know about Sonny Gray.
Sonny Gray has been traded twice
Gray was the ace pitcher for the Oakland A's and was an All-Star in 2015. He was traded at the deadline in 2017 to the New York Yankees for three players.
His tenure in New York was not as successful as it was in Oakland or like it has been in Cincinnati. Gray was 15-16 in 41 games and 34 starts with a 4.51 ERA. The Yankees moved him to the bullpen late in his tenure in New York.
Before his time with the Yankees, Gray was 44-36 with a 3.42 ERA in five seasons with Oakland. He went 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA in 2015.
Gray agreed to a three-year extension with the Reds worth $30.5 million with a club option for the 2023 season.
Could Gray be traded a third time? Given his success in Cincinnati and his affordable contract, Gray was rumored to be in trade conversations following the 2020 season.
Sonny Gray lives in Nashville
A big storyline with Gray since he arrived in Cincinnati has been his reunion with his college pitching coach Derek Johnson, who is the Reds pitching coach. Gray and Johnson were together when Gray was a star pitcher for Vanderbilt in Nashville.
Former Reds catcher Curt Casali, was his catcher in college and the two worked out together in the offseason.
Gray and Johnson, who still call Nashville their home. It's where Gray was born and he went to high school outside Nashville at Smyrna High School.
Sonny Gray, an Uncrustables fan?
Following the early end of Spring Training and during the bleak days of Spring 2020, Gray was staying home and munching on a Smucker's classic.
Whether Gray, who does have two children, was just cleaning out the freezer or was just slamming Uncrustables because of its delicious blend of peanut butter and strawberry jam is unconfirmed.
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