In a move that came together just before the 2020 MLB trade deadline, the Toronto Blue Jays acquired Robbie Ray from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired southpaw pitcher Robbie Ray and cash considerations from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Travis Bergen, according to ESPN.
Through seven starts with the Diamondbacks this season, Ray is 1-4 with an inflated 7.84 ERA. However, you don’t have to look too far into the past to find out why the Blue Jays made this trade.
In 2017, Ray was a certified staff ace, going 15-5 en route to his sole All-Star selection. Unfortunately, his stellar season was cut short when he took a Luke Voit comebacker off the back of his head in the midst of Arizona’s race for the pennant.
Ray bounced back to post winning seasons in 2018 and 2019. Thus far, 2020 has been his worst season since breaking into the majors with the Detroit Tigers in 2014.
Still, the signing of Ray is welcome news for Blue Jays fans craving additions to an ailing rotation. With Nate Pearson and Trent Thornton on the injury list, an innings-eater like Ray who the team has seemingly bought low on, could be just what the doctor ordered.
The Blue Jays’ official rotation listed on the depth chart reads just four names long at the moment. Ray should slide neatly into the third to fourth starter slots.
The acquisition of Ray also addresses the dearth of left-handed pitching in the Blue Jays’ rotation. Even when fully healthy, Hyun Jin Ryu was the sole lefty starter on the roster.
As far as what the Blue Jays lose, Bergen has only factored into one game this season, tossing 1.2 innings against the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 25. (There’s a really bad pun to be made about this being a “Bergen” pickup, but I digress…)
Ray’s dealing comes after a slew of solid starters came off the market this deadline day. Mike Clevinger, formerly of the Cleveland Indians, was dealt to the San Diego Padres, while Mike Minor was moved to the Oakland Athletics.
However, perhaps the most beneficial trade of the deadline to Toronto didn’t even involve the team. Marketing his production that seemingly came solely against the Blue Jays in 2020, the Red Sox moved public enemy number one Mitch Moreland to the Padres, placing him about as far way from Sahlen Field as you can get.
After obtaining the services of Daniel Vogelbach and Taijuan Walker, it would have been a little premature to say the Blue Jays were full-on buyers. But now, with the signing of a former All-Star like Ray, management has taken yet another step towards serious contention.
The Toronto Blue Jays are going for it this season. The saga continues.