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?
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.