The Arizona Diamondbacks’ decision to buy or sell at the Major League Baseball trade deadline could impact the New York Yankees’ pursuit of a starting pitcher.
The Yankees are among the teams interested in Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman, who also pointed to the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers as potential landing spots Friday.
The situation is complicated by Arizona’s place in the standings. The D-Backs entered Friday trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers by 14.5 games in the National League West but sit just 3.5 games back of the NL’s second wild-card spot. Theoretically, the Snakes could buy — rather than sell — or stand pat in the hopes of contending in 2020, as much of their core, including Ray, figures to remain intact this offseason.
It’s no secret the Yankees could use starting pitching help, especially after the Boston Red Sox knocked around Masahiro Tanaka en route to a 19-3 win in the teams’ series opener Thursday night at Fenway Park, and Ray could provide a huge boost to New York’s rotation.
Ray, who turns 28 in October, owns a 9-6 record, a 3.95 ERA, a 4.27 FIP and a 1.31 WHIP in 22 starts this season. He’s prone to dishing out free passes, evident by the 4.2 walks per nine innings he’s issued in 2019, but the left-hander also misses bats at an impressive clip. Ray’s strikeout rate (11.85 K/9) ranks fifth among all MLB starters this season. Only Chris Sale (13.19) and Max Scherzer (12.26) own higher strikeout rates than Ray (12.00) among starters since the beginning of 2017.
Ray is making just north of $6 million this season. He’s under club control through the 2020 campaign, after which he can test free agency.