As strange as it may sound, the Arizona Diamondbacks could still part ways with Robbie Ray, even if they contend for a postseason berth this season.
Should the 2020 campaign take place, it is safe to say that the Arizona Diamondbacks are going for it. They were the surprise winners of the Starling Marte trade sweepstakes, landing the former Pirate center fielder. The Diamondbacks were also the surprising destination of former Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, giving Arizona plenty of hope that they can contend for a postseason berth.
However, that does not answer a major question going forward – what will happen with Robbie Ray? According to reports, the Diamondbacks had yet to approach Ray about an extension even though he is set to be a free agent following the upcoming season.
It is actually a bit of a surprise that Ray is even still in Arizona. He had been a major part of the offseason trade rumors that swirled about the offseason, a potential option for teams that missed out on the top arms in free agency.
The Diamondbacks, however, held their ground, expecting Ray to pair with Bumgarner atop their rotation for 2020. One could understand why they kept his services, despite a somewhat maddening 2019 season that saw Ray post a 12-8 record, although with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.342 WHiP. Over his 174.1 innings, Ray struck out a career best 235 batters, but also issued a career high 84 walks.
Arizona did not have any financial reasons to move Ray prior to the season. They agreed to a $9.25 million salary for the coming year, avoiding arbitration in his final year of team control. While it is possible that extension talks begin when the season starts up, another solid year may push his price tag beyond their comfort level.
That makes Ray an interesting player to watch should the Diamondbacks fall out of contention. Even if they are pushing for a postseason berth, it may behoove the Diamondbacks to trade Ray at the deadline. After all, they shipped Zack Greinke to Houston although they were still on the periphery of contention last year.
Robbie Ray’s time with the Arizona Diamondbacks is coming to an end in the next few months. It is just a question of whether or not he will leave as a free agent, or if he will be traded at the deadline.