Robbie Ray – 13-7, 2.84 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
The answer is Travis Bergen, that is what it cost the Blue Jays to acquire Robbie Ray at the 2020 trade deadline. Once the season ended, the Blue Jays and Ray quickly agreed to a one-year deal worth $8 million and what a deal that was. That’s an incredible bargain for the pitcher that is going to win the 2021 Cy Young Award.
Ray should be a 20-game winner with how he pitched this season, yet finished with just 13 due to lack of support the offence gave him in his starts. Ray had 12 no-decisions this season, and in those games he posted a 2.41 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, which would put him amongst the league leaders in just those games.
Ray is who I believe to be the front runner for the Cy Young Award as he led the American League in ERA (2.84), innings pitched (193.1), strikeouts (248) and WHIP (1.05). Ray is the all-time major league leader in strikeouts per nine innings (11.2) and he had an even higher rate than that this season at 11.5. Ray led the league in starts this season with 32 and in those games allowed more than three runs just four times.
If Ray wins the Cy Young, he will join Roy Halladay, Pat Hentgen and Roger Clemens as Toronto Blue Jays to win the award. He is now a free agent and can sign with any team, I believe he should be the priority for the team to bring back.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr – 29 doubles, 48 home runs, 111 RBI, .311/.401/.601
Some, not a lot, but some fans tweeted out after the 2020 season that they thought Vladimir Guerrero Jr was a bust and I’ll say it, they were wrong. On April 6, 2021, Guerrero Jr went 0 for 3 at the plate and his batting average dropped to .267 that would be the only day in the entire season that it would be below .307.
Even the casual Blue Jays fan is aware of the season that Guerrero Jr. just had and how he is likely one of two guys that will factor heavily into the AL MVP. voting If it went to the positional player alone, Vlady would win it hands down, but the fact that Shohei Ohtani had the season he had on the mound, along with his .257 batting average (can you tell the sarcasm) brings up the debate.
Guerrero Jr. set the MLB record for most home runs by a player aged 22 or younger when he hit 48 this season. He led the American League in Runs (123), home runs (48), on-base percentage (.401), slugging percentage (.601), OPS (1.002) and total bases (363). He played in his first All-Star Game where he took home game’s MVP award.
He finished the season with the second most home runs in a single season in franchise history, while also finishing with the fifth highest OPS. The question now will be when will they lock him up to a 10-year deal and how much will it cost.
Who was your top 10, and did I miss anyone you thought should be in there?