MLB news: Blue Jays sign SP Robbie Ray

Sep 6, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) winds up during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed Robbie Ray, the first free-agent signing of what is expected to be a slow MLB offseason this winter.

Ray, who the Blue Jays acquired at the MLB trade deadline, will return to Toronto with the hope of rebuilding his standing around the league over a full season.

Toronto Blue Jays re-sign Robbie Ray to one-year contract

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Ray is signing a one-year contract with the Blue Jays worth $8 million.

The 29-year-old started his season in Arizona, hoping to post huge numbers in a contract year. Instead, the southpaw lost control of the strike zone and often looked like one of the worst pitchers in baseball.

Across 31 innings with the Diamondbacks, Ray struck out 43 batters with an impressive 27.9% strikeout rate. However, it came an atrocious 20.1% walk rate, nine home runs allowed and a 7.84 ERA.

A change of scenery seemed to help Ray. After landing in Toronto, he posted a 4.79 ERA across 20.2 innings. While the numbers weren’t a huge improvement, he lowered his walk rate to 14.4% after working with the Blue Jays’ coaching staff.

If Ray can rediscover his old form (3.93 ERA in 2018, 2.89 ERA in 2017), this will be one of the best moves of the offseason. Given his recent history, it’s unlikely we ever see Ray reach those marks again.

Ultimately, this is a solid deal that will provide the Blue Jays with depth for their rotation as they look to compete in 2021.

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