Is Ray Worth It?

Blue Jays lefthander Robbie Ray earned 29 of a possible 30 first-place votes to easily win the AL Cy Young on Wednesday. 

It caps a remarkable turnaround for the 30-year-old — his 6.62 ERA in 2020 is the highest by a pitcher in a season prior to winning the award.

Now a free agent, Ray could seek a deal in the neighborhood of $130 million over five years, which could put him among the seven highest-paid pitchers at $26 million per season.

But is he worth a mega-deal, given his unspectacular career?

  • Ray went 13-7 and led the AL in ERA (2.84), WHIP (1.04), Ks (248), IP (193.1), and WAR (6.7).
  • But he has one All-Star appearance in eight years with a lifetime 4.00 ERA, 3.9 BB/9, and one career complete game.
  • In 2020, he went 2-5 with the Diamondbacks and Jays and posted an ugly 7.8 BB/9.

There is one thing he can lean on in negotiations: He leads MLB all-time with 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Ray signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Jays prior to the ’21 season, making him the ninth pitcher to win the Cy Young before free agency. 

The eighth, Trevor Bauer, signed a three-year, $102 million deal with the Dodgers — but he had a more impressive resume before winning.