Detroit Tigers Rumors

Detroit Tigers: Five non-Verlander starters to pursue

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 14: Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets in action against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on September 14, 2021 in New York City. The Cardinals defeated the Mets 7-6 in eleven innings. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 14: Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets in action against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on September 14, 2021 in New York City. The Cardinals defeated the Mets 7-6 in eleven innings. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 25: Robbie Ray #38 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the second inning of the game at Target Field on September 25, 2021, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

3. Toronto Blue Jays LHP Robbie Ray

The Detroit Tigers acquired Robbie Ray as part of the deal that sent Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals in 2013 and then subsequently shipped him out after six starts as part of a three-team deal that put Shane Greene in the Olde English D. Much has happened for Ray since–at the time, Ray showed promise but never really had a breakthrough performance.

In Detroit as a 22-year-old, Ray gave up 43 hits and 26 runs in 28.2 innings; good for an 8.16 ERA. Since then, Ray has been electric but has struggled with command even as recently as 2020; where he averaged 9.2 hits per 9 innings and 7.8 walks per nine innings.

Toronto saw some potential, though, as they acquired him from Arizona and re-signed him for a one-year, $8 million deal for this season. Ray likely won’t earn a Cy Young Award, but he probably should. 6.7 bWAR; 32 starts, 193.1 innings, 150 hits, 248 strikeouts, a 2.84 ERA, and a 1.045 WHIP.

Robbie Ray would be a familiar face but would present some inherent risk. Although Ray’s strikeout numbers have been rock-solid throughout his career, his 2.4 walks per nine this season are by far the lowest of his career and could be due for some regression. Ray is a year younger than the former two starters and his left-handedness may present a slight edge, especially given the uncertainty surrounding starter Matthew Boyd.

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