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Report: D-backs seem more open to trading Robbie Ray

Robbie Ray #38 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 6, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray was a popular name at the MLB trade deadline this July, but his team ultimately retained him and instead traded Zack Greinke.

Now, as the hot stove heats up in the offseason, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reported that other teams believe the D-backs seem more open to trading Ray than they’ve been previously. Stark added that the D-backs are looking for controllable pitching.

The D-backs acquired the type of player Stark described — a controllable pitcher — on the same day they traded Greinke. Arizona dealt top prospect infielder Jazz Chisholm to the Miami Marlins for Zac Gallen, who went on to post a 2.89 ERA in eight starts with the D-backs to finish the season. Gallen is 23 years old and still pre-arbitration.

Ray, 28, is not coming off of one of his better seasons. His 4.34 ERA was the the second-highest of the five years he’s been a full-time major league player. He continues to struggle with efficiency, and last year had the fourth-worst pitches-per-innnings-pitched average (17.58) among qualifying pitchers in all of MLB.

He also had the second-most walks per nine innings (4.34) in MLB among qualifying pitchers, with St. Louis’ Dakota Hudson being the only one worse. The walks, along with hurling the 12th-most strikeouts in baseball last year, are part of why he consistently throws so many pitches. That, in turn, gets him out of the game sooner and puts more work on the bullpen.

It’s for these reasons that the D-backs might be motivated to move on from Ray, along with the incentive of getting younger pitchers under team control as Arizona looks to build a sustainable contender.

Spotrac estimates Ray will earn $10.8 million in 2020, though that number is subject to change because of arbitration. After this season, he is set to become a free agent.

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