Blue Jays acquire Robbie Ray from the Diamondbacks
The Blue Jays added another starting pitcher right ahead of the trade deadline, acquiring Robbie Ray from the Diamondbacks.
The Blue Jays made it clear that they’re interested in competing in 2020 when they acquired Taijuan Walker from the Mariners earlier in the week, and they’ve done it again just hours ahead of the trade deadline.
In a bit of a surprise move, Ross Atkins swung a trade for another rental pitcher by acquiring Robbie Ray from the Arizona Diamondbacks, with the news first reported by Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun. The southpaw has struggled this season, which likely dragged down his trade value and interest, but he’s had plenty of success in the past. He was an All-Star in Arizona back in 2017, and posted a 4.34 ERA over 33 starts last season, throwing 174.1 innings.
It’s not yet known what the Blue Jays sent back to Arizona, but it’s likely that the return will be fairly minimal. *Update, the trade is Ray and cash considerations in exchange for Travis Bergen. And while he’s not quite the needle-mover that a Mike Clevinger or Lance Lynn would be, he should help lengthen a pitching staff that’s been weakened by several injuries. That said, for the price it would appear that Ray is well worth the gamble.
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The left-hander will join a rotation that includes Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, Taijuan Walker, and Chase Anderson, with Matt Shoemaker, Nate Pearson, and Trent Thornton on the Injured List. The Blue Jays could have moved someone like Anthony Kay or Thomas Hatch into the rotation, but this way they’ll keep the depth from their surprisingly effective bullpen.
Ray’s best season came back in 2017 when he was 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.154 WHIP during his All-Star campaign, and the Blue Jays will hope he can get closer to that type of production. They don’t need him to be an ace necessarily, but they’ll hope he’ll improve his 2020 production in a Blue Jays’ uniform. The biggest issue for the hard-throwing starter is his control, as he’s walked 31 batters over 31 innings this year.
With a few hours until the trade deadline, it remains to be seen if the Blue Jays are done adding to the roster. There have been been plenty of rumours about an additional bench bat, or possibly another shortstop-capable infielder, so we’ll see what Atkins and company have up their sleeves.