Milwaukee Brewers: 3 Trades That Could Happen At The Winter Meetings
By David Gasper
Brewers Acquire Robbie Ray From Arizona
The Arizona Diamondbacks effectively told all of baseball that anyone is up for trade discussions and can be had as the team takes a step back from contention after they sent franchise face Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals.
With that, the Milwaukee Brewers should absolutely be calling Arizona about trying to acquire left hander Robbie Ray.
In 2017, Ray broke out and pitched to a 2.89 ERA in 28 starts with 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings en route to a seventh place finish in the Cy Young voting. In 2018, Ray took a step back, finishing with a 3.93 ERA in 24 starts. Ray dealt with an injury, which likely played a role in his regression this year.
But there’s still reasons to be optimistic about Ray. He’s just 27 years old and is under team control for two more seasons. He’s projected to be due just slightly above $6 million in 2019.
Ray also keeps the ball on the ground, with a 42% ground ball rate over his career. He’s also a big strikeout pitcher, averaging over 11 strikeouts per nine innings over the past three years.
As for what he could cost, Ray won’t be cheap to acquire, but he won’t cost ace-level talent either. Keston Hiura and Corbin Burnes will be safe in these negotiations.
The Brewers could put together a package around Corey Ray and Marcos Diplan. The Diamondbacks are losing centerfielder AJ Pollock in free agency this winter and don’t have an obvious immediate replacement. Corey Ray could be the center fielder of the future for Arizona. But he likely won’t be for Milwaukee. A Ray-for-Ray swap could be beneficial for both sides.
Milwaukee would need to throw in Marcos Diplan as well. Diplan has good stuff and projects to be in a big league rotation, but he likely won’t crack the Brewers rotation anytime soon. The Diamondbacks would like a good starting pitching prospect in return for trading their starting pitcher. Diplan won’t be big league ready to start 2019, but he should be there in 2020.
There may need to be another piece or two added in besides Ray and Diplan, but that shouldn’t be a major prospect. Perhaps a throw-in like Keon Broxton could be included.