Toronto Blue Jays Re-Sign Robbie Ray

Robbie Ray

The Toronto Blue Jays have made the first signing of the 2020 offseason. They are bringing Robbie Ray back on a one-year deal. The contract will pay Ray $8 million dollars. Jeff Passan of ESPN reported the news early Saturday afternoon.

Blue Jays Re-Sign Robbie Ray

Ray began the year with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The former 12th-round selection from 2010 threw 31 innings with a 7.84 ERA and 43 strikeouts before the Diamondbacks flipped him to the Blue Jays. Ray threw 20 and two-thirds more innings after the trade with an improved 4.79 ERA and 25 strikeouts. It’s hard to know exactly how much Toronto did with the veteran starter in such a short amount of time, but several of Ray’s advanced numbers, especially his walks per nine innings, got measurably better. The main number that didn’t improve was strikeouts per nine innings. That fell from 12.5 to 10.9, but that could simply just be due to the smaller sample size. It’s still very close to Ray’s career figure of 11.1 per nine innings.

The Washington Nationals originally selected Ray in the 2010 Amateur Draft out of high school but traded him along with Ian Krol and Steve Lombardozzi to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Doug Fister in 2013. The Tigers then traded Ray to the Diamondbacks in a big three-team trade in 2014 that also sent Didi Gregorius to the New York Yankees. Ray has thrown a total of 842 and a third innings with a 4.26 ERA, 4.12 FIP, and 8.6 career WAR.

What This Means for the Future

Ray may not ever recapture his peak production with Arizona that earned a handful of Cy Young votes in 2017, but Ray is a decent investment for 2021. He has plenty of years left in his arm at just 29-years-old. Toronto doesn’t have the deepest rotation yet, so Ray is more than acceptable as a starter for one season. He probably enters 2021 as the second or third starter behind Hyun Jin Ryu and maybe Nate Pearson. A one-year deal gives the Blue Jays flexibility with Ray and how he fits into their ultimate plans for contention.

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