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D-backs GM Mike Hazen doesn’t regret not trading Robbie Ray earlier

Robbie Ray #38 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the bottom of the second inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on August 21, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Robbie Ray’s trade value undeniably isn’t what it once was, and so it might hurt in retrospect that the Arizona Diamondbacks had quite the market available for him last year before sending him to Toronto on Monday for left-handed reliever Travis Bergen.

Both at the trade deadline and in the offseason, speculation for Ray being dealt tied to the likelihood of a big-money deal coming for him as a free agent after the 2020 season.

There was plenty of reported interest, but the D-backs stood strong, looking to contend in 2020.

That thinking is why general manager Mike Hazen isn’t going to beat himself up too much on the decision.

“On this one, no, probably not,” Hazen said on if he will look back on it as a mistake. “And for the reason being that we went pretty aggressive at 2020, and a big piece to that strategic aggressiveness was top of the rotation starting pitching and he was one of those guys.

“I can’t regret it, because I still agree with the strategy given what we were trying to execute in 2020. Now, I can play hindsight in 2020 and criticize myself, which I probably will quite a bit. But this one was a hard one because the strategic choice we were making, given the dynamic of what we were doing with our team, I’d probably make that decision again.”

Ray has had a disastrous 2020, walking 31 batters in 31.0 innings on an ERA of 7.84 in seven outings. That total of walks leads the majors, as does his 27 earned runs.

The lefty was an All-Star in 2017, winning 15 games with a 2.87 ERA. And while Ray regressed the next two seasons with ERAs of 3.93 and 4.34, respectively, he was still thought of as a quality starting pitcher.

That’s always been thanks to his ability to strike batters out. Ray leaves the D-backs after five and a half seasons as No. 3 all-time on the franchise leaderboard in strikeouts at 998. Ray’s 11.327 strikeouts per nine innings is only second to Randy Johnson’s mark of 11.466.

Ray lasted with the D-backs like few other starting pitchers, placing him in other spots on the all-time rankings such as being fourth in starts made (147). He’s also seventh in wins (47) and fifth in innings pitched (793.0).

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