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Report: Phillies keeping ‘close tabs’ on D-backs’ Robbie Ray, Zack Greinke

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It’s been reported that D-backs starting pitcher Robbie Ray has drawn interest from other teams as the trade deadline approaches, but a report Monday indicated that Zack Greinke’s name can be added to that as well.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Philadelphia Phillies have an eye on both Greinke and Ray, the latter of whom was the probable pitcher for Monday night’s contest that opens a three-game D-backs series at home against the Orioles.

Ray’s name has been linked to the Phillies once already, as well as other teams like the Yankees, Brewers and Astros.

The 27-year-old is under team control through next season, which is his last year of arbitration before he becomes a free agent in 2021. Ray, a hard-throwing left-hander, has a 3.92 ERA this season through 117 innings pitched with a 1.299 WHIP and 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 2.67 as the former All-Star has walked a league-leading 57 batters this season.

Greinke, while brought up often as a piece the D-backs could hypothetically sell, hasn’t garnered as much buzz as reports swirl ahead of the deadline. That’s probably partly due to the fact that Greinke is owed a hefty sum of money for the rest of his contract; Over the next two years, the 35-year-old is set to earn $64 million. There’s also deferred money on that contract.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Friday that the “belief is” the D-backs would “be willing to pay down — perhaps by 10M/year — the 80M remaining on Greinke through 2021, depending the return of course.”

The right-hander is having a strong season, having already made the All-Star team for the fifth time in six years and owning a 2.93 ERA after about four months of play. In 135 innings pitched, Greinke’s 0.948 WHIP and 7.24 strikeout-to-walk ratio paint the picture of a 16-year veteran hardly showing signs of wearing out. He’s also walked only 17 batters all season.

His WHIP, if he keeps pace through the end of the season, would be the second-lowest of his career, bested only by his 0.844 mark in 2015 when Greinke led all of MLB in that statistic. He also had a career-best 1.66 ERA that season.

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