American League Cy Young award winner Robbie Ray has decided to make the Pacific Northwest his home for the next five years, signing a deal worth $115 million.
After a career year in 2021, Ray tested the free-agent market and now will be making on average $23 million each year while in Seattle.
Impact on Seattle
Signing a premium starting pitcher was a high priority for Jerry Dipoto and the Mariners this off season, and Ray fits the mold perfectly. After the departure of Yusei Kikuchi, Seattle needed another lefty starter in the rotation to pair with Marco Gonzales.
Going into the off-season, the ace position for Seattle seemed up in the air between the veteran Gonzales and the young hotshot Logan Gilbert. With the signing of Ray, the ace position seems to be the strikeout artist’s to lose.
Strikeouts have always been Ray’s main specialty, and in 2021 he was able to do that in spades while also sporting a league-leading 2.84 ERA. His career 11.2 SO/9 puts him on the top of the podium for best of all time.
Ray’s main struggle is giving up the long ball. Opposing batters hit 33 dingers against Ray in his Cy Young season. Including that with a strong BB/9 of 2.4, Ray is a type of pitcher that is going to beat hitters while not letting them even touch the ball.
Playoffs have eluded Seattle for the last 20 years and the signing of Ray gives Seattle an ace that their young team can rely on every fifth day on their 2022 campaign to the playoffs.
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