The Blue Jays are going to have plenty of competition if they want to re-sign Robbie Ray again after the southpaw pitched at a Cy Young level in 2021. The question is, just how far are they willing to go in order to bring him back?
The Jays received one of the best bargains in all of baseball this past season with their ace left-hander. Ray came to them during the 2020 stretch run from the Diamondbacks, and turned his nightmare season in Arizona around a fair bit with a fresh start. Something seemed to click between the Tennessee native and pitching coach Pete Walker, so he quickly agreed to return on a one-year, eight million dollar contract for the 2021 season.
Now that he’s back on the free agent market with a vastly improved resume, and one that might include an AL Cy Young award, it’s expected that Ray will be one of the most sought after starting pitchers, and with good reason. If there’s one thing that’s true for every team in baseball it’s that you can never have enough pitching, especially if you can find a top-shelf arm like Ray.
The Jays gave Ray a Qualifying Offer, so even in an absolute worst case he would receive a significant raise to approximately 18.4 million. There’s almost no way he’s going to accept that though, and depending on which projection you’re looking at, most are predicting he’ll easily exceed 100 million on his next deal.
Will the Blue Jays spend big to bring back their best pitcher in 2021? It’s not a simple question, so I thought I’d break down the argument for and against offering a huge contract to Mr. Tight Pants himself.