One of the major story lines to follow at yesterday’s trade deadline was Robbie Ray and if the Diamondbacks would end up trading him to the Yankees. That did not happen, although it was certainly lack of effort on either team’s part. For perspective on the value Ray would have brought to the Yankees, this is what I projected moving forward:
40 starts, 210 IP, 3.75 ERA (4.00 RA/9), 3.0 WAR ($24M value), $12M salary ($2M in 2019, $10M in 2020). Surplus Value: $12M
Ray is having another solid season, averaging 6 innings a start with an ERA+ of 108 although at times not looking that impressive doing it. His strikeout and walk numbers are similar to his breakout 2017 campaign and aside from an oblique problem that had him miss 8 starts has been very durable since the Dbacks called him up in 2015. Two major starting pitcher trades went on before the final day, with Marcus Stroman and Trevor Bauer finding new teams.
Trevor Bauer ended up fetching the Indians an expiring OF contract in Yasiel Puig, a 1B/DH type in Franmil Reyes, a pitching prospect just out of the Top 100 in Logan Allen, 2 low level prospects. If you’re wondering how that deal affects the asking price for Ray, both Bauer and Ray are roughly the same value pitcher with the same amount of control (through the 2020 season). Run prevention metrics are the same (Bauer ERA+ in Cleveland 114, Ray ERA+ in Arizona 113), career WHIP numbers are similar, and while Bauer has more innings since Ray’s call up in May 2015, Ray misses more bats and is left-handed which would give any contending team more flexibility in the postseason on deploying him. So in my mind, and likely Mike Hazen’s mind, they are similar value pitchers and thus he will want the same type of haul.
With that in mind this was the Dbacks’ asking price for Ray (most likely leaked by the Yankees):
Dbacks asked Yanks for Clarke Schmidt along with Frazier plus more in Ray talks— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2019
Following along here you get a 1B/DH type in Clint Frazier (his outfield defense is almost Yasmany Tomas level poor and a big reason why he’s still stewing in AAA), a pitching prospect just outside the Top 100 in Clarke Schmidt, and two low level prospects.
Of course, the Yankees thought that was too much according to Bob Nightengale
The idea of trading Ray for a package involving Frazier as the main piece has already been discussed a great deal on this site. Personally that package is not enough unless that other prospect is Jonathan Loaisiga, who would give the Dbacks a controllable SP to fill Ray’s spot for 6 years. They would find a Loaisiga alternative in Zac Gallen, at the cost of their top infielder prospect in Jazz Chisholm.
With the Yankees balking at the Dbacks understandably high price for Ray, no such deal came close to fruition. Instead, the pitcher that ended up getting moved was Zack Greinke for a 4-prospect haul that included 2017 1st round picks J.B. Bukauskas and Seth Beer.