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Robbie Ray Traded to Blue Jays from Diamondbacks for Travis Bergen

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2020

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray throws against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York/Associated Press

The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired starting pitcher Robbie Ray from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for pitcher Travis Bergen and cash considerations.

Per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the Diamondbacks are sending $300,000 to the Blue Jays in the deal. 

Ray, 28, has struggled immensely in 2020, going 1-4 with a 7.84 ERA, 2.00 WHIP and 43 strikeouts in 31 innings (seven starts). Despite that, there was plenty of interest in the veteran starter, with Longley reporting that the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees and other teams had expressed interest.

The fact that Longley misses bats, even amidst his struggles, is likely why he was in demand:

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

Robbie Ray certainly has electric stuff, but he also has walked 31 batters in 31 innings, and now will be pitching in the tough AL East for the #Jays.

Jayson Stark @jaysonst

What makes Robbie Ray so intriguing? His spin rate on his fastball, curve and slider are all higher this year than last. He has the swing and miss part. Has to rediscover the command part. https://t.co/GYJvBi84tq

Ben Nicholson-Smith @bnicholsonsmith

Interesting note on Robbie Ray, #BlueJays' newest pitcher. Going into the year, he shortened his arm action. It didn't work, obviously, but in more recent outings he appears to be moving closer to his old delivery in the view of a scout who has seen him.

Sid Seixeiro @Sid_Seixeiro

If Jays pitching coach Pete Walker can fix Robbie Ray’s walk issues Pete will likely get a managerial job very soon because that would be a friggin miracle.

If his command improves, the Blue Jays will have found a nice upgrade for their pitching staff. The Blue Jays—currently 18-14 and holding onto the last American League Wild Card berth—have already been busy ahead of Monday's 4 p.m. ET trade deadline, landing pitcher Taijuan Walker and designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach last week. 

As for Bergen, the 26-year-old has made 22 MLB appearances in his career between the last two seasons, going 2-0 with a 5.06 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 21 strikeouts in 21.1 innings. His return isn't the most lucrative one for the Diamondbacks, though other concerns may have come into play:

Zach Buchanan @ZHBuchanan

We'll see what Mike Hazen has to say about the deal later. He hasn't talked yet about any baseball ops changes for 2021 -- other teams have made dramatic cuts -- and it's possible that money saved in a trade could mean several scouts/player development folks remain employed.

Given Ray's pending free agency this summer, cutting ties now made sense for the struggling Diamondbacks, who are just 14-21 this season and last in the NL West. 

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