While the Philadelphia Phillies await Manny Machado’s decision and reportedly plan to meet with Bryce Harper within the next week or so. The team is still doing its due diligence when it comes to acquiring a starting pitcher this offseason.
Over the last few weeks, the Phillies have been connected to Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber and former Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel to an extent. However, nothing has come from those rumors as it seems like the Los Angeles Dodgers could have an inside track for the 32-year-old Kluber.
With that being said, the Phillies are keeping their options open and have their eyes on another starting pitcher from the NL West. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported over the weekend that the Phillies along with the Houston Astros are “very interested” in Arizona Diamondbacks left-handed starting pitcher Robbie Ray.
However, despite the interest in Ray, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported on Wednesday that the Diamondbacks are not looking to move him. But they will still encourage teams to come up with a trade package that was better than what Seattle Mariners got from the New York Yankees when they acquired James Paxton back in November.
This is not the first time that we’ve heard the Phillies connected to Ray or the Diamondbacks.
Jayson Stark of The Athletic reported in November that Philadelphia and Arizona discussed a trade package involving All-star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, starting pitcher Zach Eflin, and several young players. However, the deal fell apart when the Phils tried to add Carlos Santana.
As we all know by now, Goldschmidt was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, while the Phillies sent Santana and J.P. Crawford to the Seattle Mariners for All-star shortstop Jean Segura and two relievers.
Furthermore, when it comes to Ray, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia wrote in November that the Phillies kicked his name around last offseason and have long liked him. The 27-year-old starting pitcher is an intriguing trade candidate as he is still under control for two more seasons.
This past season with the Diamondbacks, Ray posted a record of 6-2 with an ERA of 3.93 in 24 starts. He also racked up 165 strikeouts in 123.2 innings pitched with a SO/9 of 12.0.
The 27-year-old Ray missed some time earlier in the season with an oblique injury, but that did not slow him down. In 2017, he had a career year on the mound for the Diamondbacks with a record of 15-5 and an ERA of 2.89.
Ray also compiled 218 strikeouts for the second-straight season and had a SO/9 of 12.1 and BB/9 of 3.9. He was named to his first All-star team and finished seventh in the NL Cy Young Award voting during that season.
Nevertheless, it would be shocking to see Ray in a Phillies jersey in the next few months. Arizona has a high price tag, which would require Philadelphia to possibly give up one their top pitching prospects plus more.
Is Adonis Medina or Zach Eflin along with Odubel Herrera or Nick Williams worth two seasons of Ray? That is a tough question to answer, but best believe the Phillies will make sure to come away with at least one starting pitcher this offseason.