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The Blue Jays have re-signed Robbie Ray

The Blue Jays have made their first signing of the off-season.

According to Jeff Passan, the team has re-signed lefty pitcher Robbie Ray to a one-year deal worth $8,000,000.

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Ray, of course, was acquired by the Blue Jays ahead of the trade deadline from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Travis Bergen.

His 2020 season had been a complete disaster but Ray’s performance improved after joining the Blue Jays. In 31 innings with the Diamondbacks, Ray had a 7.84 ERA but he improved to a respectable 4.79 ERA over 20 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays. He also had an impressive three-inning showing in relief against Tampa Bay in Game 1 of the wild-card round.

It wasn’t that long ago that Ray was an ace starter in Arizona. Back in 2017, he posted a 2.89 ERA and had the most strikeouts per nine in baseball at 12.1. He finished seventh in Cy Young voting that season.

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Ray has all the stuff to be really, really good. He’s a hard-throwing lefty who features a wipeout slider. The key is getting his command under control. If the Blue Jays can tinker with Ray and get him throwing strikes more consistently, they have themselves a great pitcher here.

That’s obviously a pretty big if (given the fact he walked 7.8 batters per nine in 2020) but it’s absolutely worth the risk at an $8,000,000 price tag.