Gray ready for a fresh start in Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla., USA — Sonny Gray it took him a few more steps than usual to get to his first practice in preseason training with his new team.

Once the right-handed veteran arrived, he discovered that this is the place he wants to be. The newly acquired starter worked for the Minnesota Twins for the first time on Tuesday after passing his physical.

Twins acquired Gray on Sunday in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, who are dismantling their payroll. Meanwhile, the Twins have hinted that they’ll be looking to make more trades after adding Gray, who went 7-9 with 155 strikeouts and a 4.19 ERA over 135 1/3 innings in 2021.

“Looks like the Twins are looking for more cards,” Gray said. “That’s where I’m at in my career and really all I care about is winning. I want to win.”

Gray was involved in the second of three trades the Twins made between Saturday and Sunday. Minnesota traded catcher Mitch Garver to the Texas Rangers for shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who later traded with third baseman John Donaldson to the New York Yankees for catcher Gary Sanchez and infielder Gio Urshela.

But the Twins aren’t done.

President of operations Derek Fayley said the club has more financial flexibility after the Yankees acquired the remaining $50 million on Donaldson’s contract. Fayley indicated that he hopes to use that money to fill his needs in the rotation, bullpen and shortstop. The Twins have reportedly expressed interest in free agent Trevor Story and are in talks with the Oakland Athletics.

“I hope that we are in a better position not only in terms of the workforce, but in terms of the plan going forward and the flexibility that it creates for the upcoming negotiations,” Fayley added.

Gray and his family were on their way to the airport planning to fly to Arizona for Reds spring training Sunday when Cincinnati general manager Nick Krall called him and broke the news. Quickly, Gray realized that he would now have to travel to Florida and returned home to regroup.

The Twins wanted Gray, a two-time All-Star, to cool off after he arrived Tuesday with his family. But the pitcher wanted more activity.

Not only did he participate in picture day and his physical, Gray joined his teammates on the field for pitching practice. He subsequently signed autographs and posed for some pictures with fans.

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Gray ready for a fresh start in Twins