7:35PM: The Yankees were willing to give up Clint Frazier and another prospect for Ray, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets, though talks fizzled out after the Diamondbacks requested more prospects. As per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the D’Backs wanted a four-prospect package that included Frazier and right-hander Clarke Schmidt, who was the 16th overall pick of the 2017 draft and rated by MLB Pipeline as the fifth-best prospect in New York’s system.
1:16PM: The Yankees’ talks with the Diamondbacks regarding left-hander Robbie Ray are “dead” for now, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. Ray’s name has become increasingly prevalent on the rumor mill in the past week, though there’s no firm indication that the club is sure to move him. Ray is controlled through the 2020 season via arbitration.
New York’s rotation hasn’t performed up to expectations in 2019, as Luis Severino hasn’t thrown a pitch. Lefties James Paxton and, in particular, J.A. Happ have struggled to uncharacteristically high ERAs, as has CC Sabathia, who is currently on the injured list. The Yankees have been connected to virtually every starting pitcher on the trade market, but to this point those negotiations have obviously yet to bear fruit.
Ray, 27, has a 3.91 ERA with 12.1 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 1.60 HR/9 and a 38.4 percent grounder rate in 2019. He averaged 12+ K/9 in both 2017 and 2018 with sub-4.00 ERAs, FIPs and xFIPs, cementing himself as one of the game’s premier strikeout pitchers along the way. He’s earning $6.05MM this season and will command one more arbitration raise this winter, possibly to the $10MM range, before becoming a free agent upon the conclusion of the 2020 season.
The Diamondbacks, with a .500 record, aren’t necessarily embarking on a full-scale tear down but are nevertheless listening with an open mind on some of their more desirable short-term assets.