Jon Gray, SP
After the signing of Patrick Corbin took care of the need for a frontline starting pitcher, now the Washington Nationals can focus on a low-risk, high-upside gamble. Jon Gray of the Colorado Rockies would fit that mold perfectly.
After seemingly taking the next step towards being a potential ace in 2017 with a 10-4 record and a 3.67 ERA, he fell back to earth last season. He sported an unsightly 5.12 ERA in 31 major league starts and was even demoted to Triple-A Alberqueue for a time, to compound his misery.
Now, your first thoughts are probably that it was down to Coors Field, but his road ERA of 5.34 was actually higher than his home ERA of 4.91. Overall, the only real difference compared to previous seasons was a spike in his home run rate as in 2018 he had a 1.4 HR/9 compared to a 0.9 HR/9 previously in his career, so it’s worth taking a chance on that correcting itself.
Our sister site, Rox Pile, has explored the possibility of trading Gray following his poor season in 2018. While they didn’t specifically name the Nats as a potential destination for the right-hander, he could be a perfect fit as a fourth or fifth starter.
Recently, David Schoenfield of ESPN recommended Michael Taylor as a possible fit for the Rockies as a defense-first centerfielder. Even though Charlie Blackmon has done a serviceable job there in his career, his defense got worse in 2018 and may be best served moving to a corner outfield spot.
So with both players needing new starts, a straight swap of the two players could be in order here. Taylor has two years of control and Gray has three, so the contracts will work out pretty well too for both sides.