4 back-up free agent targets for the Red Sox with Sonny Gray off the market

With Sonny Gray off the market, the Red Sox need to strike on the starting pitching market before it is too late.
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (52) throws a pitch against the Arizona
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (52) throws a pitch against the Arizona / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY
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With the news yesterday that the Cardinals signed Sonny Gray to a three year deal, the pressure is now on the Boston Red Sox to deliver on the promise of getting this rotation sorted out. For the early portion of the offseason, the starting pitching market had been (mostly) frozen as teams await the free agency decisions from Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. However, the market is clearly beginning to thaw with Gray's signing as well as, to a lesser degree, Kenta Maeda's deal with the Tigers.

The start of the Winter Meetings is less than a week away and it is more and more likely that we will start to see more free agent movement in the lead up to them. With Gray no longer available, Boston is going to have make their move(s) soon for rotation help or risk getting the league's leftovers this offseason. Given how poorly the Red Sox's rotation performed in 2023, having that happen would be a disaster.

Here are some of the best Sonny Gray alternatives for the Red Sox on the free agent market

Boston wasn't ever a favorite to land Sonny Gray as it seemed like their aspirations were for locking up a starter on a longer term deal. Gray had a fantastic 2023 season, but he is a little older and his injury history does give one some pause. However, his departure from the market limits Boston's options and could force their hand soon as to what arms they prefer and make new front office head Craig Breslow make a decision fairly quickly.

Let's take a look at the best starter free agent options for the Red Sox now that Sonny Gray has signed elsewhere.