1. Robbie Ray
Remember when Robbie Ray, the Diamondbacks’ buzzsaw lefty, was on the trade market being repeatedly connected to the New York Yankees? And every “smart” Yankee fan continually tweeted, “NO, God, PLEASE. Anyone but Robbie Ray, the strikeout machine!” And then a smart pitching coach with a plan got his hands on Robbie Ray, and he’s a Cy Young candidate now in one year’s time?
Huh. Interesting. Who’d have thunk it?
Ignoring the fact that the Jays have laid waste to the Yankees in this season-altering four-game set without their ace even taking the mound, Ray’s been a supreme leader for a young and flamboyant pitching staff. Worth an insane 6.6 WAR per Baseball Reference, the remarkable lefty has struck out 212 men in 166 innings (standard) while posting a WHIP of just 0.994, putting his control problems in the rearview mirror. Whiffs have always been par for the course for the lumberjack-ish Ray; he even struck out 235 in 174.1 innings in 2019 in Arizona, the season he posted a 4.34 mark and every Barstool-inspired Yankee fan panicked about his very existence.
Well, now he’s been fixed, and the fixing has occurred in the worst possible city for New York’s playoff pursuit.
When you comb Toronto’s roster and scope the talent disparity, it’s a wonder the Yankees have slotted ahead of the Jays in the standings for even one precious minute this year. If they’d stepped in and finished the deal regarding these three acquisitions, the whole thing might be a little less lopsided.
Oh, and the Jays haven’t really even gotten to use George Springer.