Robbie Ray, Blue Jas agree to deal –

Robbie Ray, Blue Jas agree to deal

TORONTO – The Blue Jays are wasting time in an offseason in which they are expected to be one of baseball’s more aggressive clubs. The club announced that on Saturday, Toronto signed a $ 8 million deal with free-agent left-hander Robbie Ray for a year. Ray is an uneven coming

TORONTO – The Blue Jays are wasting time in an offseason in which they are expected to be one of baseball’s more aggressive clubs. On Saturday, Toronto agreed terms for a year, signing an $ 8 million deal with free-agent left-hander Robbie RayThe club announced.

Ray is coming off an uneven season of 2020 that began with the D-backs and ended with the Blue Jayes, who acquired him at the trade deadline in a deal for Travis Bergen. Ray, 29, was fast with Toronto, sparking the talent that enticed the Blue Jayes to wager on their crucial reversal, and they are doing it again.

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In his best form, in 2017, Ray made a 2.89 ERA over 28 starts with the D-backs and has been fairly durable during his Major League career, which Blue Jayce values. Ray’s struggles in ’20, however, were mostly tied for control, as he led the league with a 45 walk en route to a 6.62 ERA.

Blue Jayce general manager Ross Atkins and president and CEO Mark Shapiro have talked about the importance of improving the club’s strike-throw 2021, but the move could clearly be about Toronto’s Think Ray. Not the one that was in ’20. Ray’s strike rate is exceptional for a starter with 11.1 batters per 11 innings of his career, and pitching coaches Pete Walker and the Blue Jays don’t have to push Ray to the point where he can one-up Is drawing the corner. As long as Ray can find the zone with some level of consistency, his fastball and slider can be dominant when it all clicks.

According to Stadcast, this fastball averaged 93.9 mph, making Ray feel particularly good, physically on the mound. He keeps his average velocity closer to ’17 (94.2 mph) than ’19 when his average dipped to 92.4.

Ray’s comeback is not a shock, as there was a reason to like Blue Jas when he first acquired him a few months ago. The surprising thing here is the timing, as Toronto is jumping into the market to make one of the first splashes this offseason. Many expect Blue Jace to be one of the drivers in this market, but given the payroll uncertainties related to the COVID-19 epidemic, no one is expecting this market to move fast. For teams that can afford at the middle and top levels, there will definitely be opportunities.

Speaking recently, Shapiro said that the club had hoped to continue its path from the previous dynasty when it landed Ika Hyun Jin Riau on a four-year, $ 80 million deal. The budget of 2021 cannot be set in stone, but should be seen as a first step.

“I think the resources are going to be there if we think the right deals happen, and if we make those recommendations, those resources will add up to us in a meaningful way,” Shapiro said. “We will conduct this offscreen like a previous child.”

Simply put, Blue Jay would not spend $ 8 million on Ray if they did not expect to do many tricks behind this one, and there is plenty of time to do that in both free agency and the trade market, where the clubs are May see contracts to be unloaded. This will not add the final rotation.

Beyond Ryu and No. 1 prospect Nate Pearson, Blue Jas now has Ray Pennkend. Tanner Roark’s $ 12 million salary means he will likely slot into the back end as he tries to rebound from a poor 2020, while another Deadline acquisition, Ross Stripling, will be in the mix. Don’t forget the dark group of young arms, either led by Thomas Hatch, Anthony Kay, Julian Meerwether, and Trent Theaton.

It’s a lot of names, which is a good thing for Blue Jay. Where they have prioritized deeply in the past, they now have a lot built from their own farming system.

A team may never have enough pitching, as the saying goes, but Blue Jayce may not need to focus as much on his financial flexibility there. Rather, this rotation would be much stronger if the front office could supplement it with the No. 2 2-caliber starter, which Atkins eliminated after Toronto from postseason contention.

“I think we’re in a position where we can combine this team with talent that’s condensed into one player and one super high impact,” Atkins said. “We reached a point last year where we felt the team was competitive to move towards victory, and that was a big part of that decision [to sign Ryu]. “

Although rotation will remain a top priority, Blue Jay is also expected to come on the market with the help of the bullpen and possibly a third baseman.

Keegan Matheson is a reporter / editor for based in Toronto. Follow her on twitter @KeeganMatheson.


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