The Diamondbacks are reportedly gearing up to sell by Wednesday’s deadline, which could make left-hander Robbie Ray one of the game’s most popular trade candidates during the next few days. The Twins are among the teams that have inquired about Ray, Jon Morosi of MLB.com tweets.
On paper, the 27-year-old Ray would be a quality get for the Twins or any other team. He’s a capable starter who’s affordable right now ($6.05MM salary) and controllable via arbitration through next season. One of the majors’ premier strikeout artists dating back to 2016, Ray has fanned a prodigious 11.85 batters per nine this year across 123 innings. At the same time, though, he has issued 4.24 walks per nine, induced ground balls at a mere 38.4 percent clip and allowed home runs on an unappealing 19.1 percent of fly balls. Ray’s control and homer problems have led to a 3.95 ERA/4.27 FIP, which is solid but not excellent.
In terms of bottom-line results, Ray’s not a massive upgrade over any of the Twins’ current complements to top starter Jose Berrios. Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda and Martin Perez have posted similar numbers in the run prevention and-or fielding-independent pitching categories. With that said, a Ray acquisition could still make plenty sense for a Minnesota team facing a great deal of uncertainty in its starting staff after the season.
Aside from Berrios, nobody from the Twins’ rotation is a lock to return in 2020. Gibson, Odorizzi and Pineda are pending free agents, while Perez has a $7MM club option (or a $500K buyout). As such, adding Ray could bolster the AL Central-leading Twins’ rotation now while taking care of an offseason need in one fell swoop.