Robbie Ray is out, Kevin Gausman in
When the Seattle Mariners signed Robbie Ray to a five-year, $115 contract (with an opt-out after year three, and a no-trade clause) on November 30th, it didn’t take the Blue Jays long to respond. As a matter of fact, the very next day, December 1st, Kevin Gausman was signed to a nearly identical five-year contract worth $110 million.
It’s worth noting that Gausman signed on the last day MLB teams could have contact with players before the looming lockout. It’s clear both sides wanted to have a deal in place before what turned out to be 100-plus days of negotiations that eventually led to a new CBA.
It also seems obvious by the terms of the two deals that the Jays were getting a comparatively-talented pitcher in Gausman. No one knows if the club would be able to pull off the coup of signing both aces, but Ray not joining the Mariners for the earlier series in Toronto suggests his vaccination status could have been a factor.
While the baseball world saw a Ray for Gausman swap of sorts as a virtual wash, that’s not the way it’s played out so far this season.
Gausman has been sensational sporting a 4-3 record, 2.25 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and a mind-boggling 65-5 K/BB ratio. He’s emerged as a Cy Young favourite and his splitter is one of the most unhittable pitchers in the sport.
Meanwhile, Ray has pitched to a 4-5 record with a 4.75 ERA and a bWAR of -0.1. He leads the AL in innings pitched and batters faced but also in earned runs.