Robbie Ray Trade Rumors: Yankees, Astros, Brewers Still Interested in SP

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2019

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray throws the second inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)
Richard W. Rodriguez/Associated Press

Arizona Diamondbacks southpaw Robbie Ray is drawing interest from the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network on Friday.

Heyman noted the Diamondbacks, who are 3.5 games back in the National League Wild Card race, have not yet determined whether they will buy or sell at the deadline.

Ray is 9-6 with a 3.95 ERA, a 1.309 WHIP and a .227 average against in 22 starts in 2019. Although he has walked a National League-high 58 batters, he has also struck out 162 batters in 123 innings. His 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings ranks fifth in the majors, and he has struck out 12.0 batters per nine innings since the start of the 2017 season.

He is just two years removed from an All-Star campaign that saw him go 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA with a career-high-tying 218 punchouts.

Although Ray's overall numbers may not be on the same level as they were in 2017, he has proven to be a quality middle-of-the-rotation arm. Not only that, the 27-year-old is making a modest $6 million this season and is under club control through 2020.

Should Arizona make the left-hander available, he figures to be one of the top arms on the market.

Of the teams mentioned by Heyman, New York (66-36) and Houston (66-38) each own sizable leads of eight-plus games in their respective divisions, while Milwaukee sits two games back in both the NL Central and the wild-card race.

Houston's rotation ranks fifth (3.81 ERA), and Milwaukee's ranks 20th (4.80 ERA).

While the Yankees are 9.5 games clear of the field in the AL East, starting pitching has been a concern. Per ESPN.com, New York's rotation ranks 17th in the majors with a 4.64 ERA. Of note, James Paxton and C.C. Sabathia have missed time this year because of injury, while Luis Severino has been sidelined the entire season since suffering an injury during spring training.

And recent results may have Brian Cashman and Co. exploring the market for help.

Bryan Hoch @BryanHoch

Let's take a peek at the #Yankees recent starting pitching... 7/21 Paxton: 7 R (4 ER) 7/22 Sabathia: 7 R (6 ER) 7/23 German: 8 ER 7/24 Happ: 6 ER 7/25 Tanaka: 7 ER (so far) https://t.co/DFwip82koH

Masahiro Tanaka finished Thursday night's start against the Boston Red Sox having allowed 12 runs in 3.1 innings.


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