SF Giants acquire Cy Young winner Robbie Ray from Mariners

Jan 5, 2024, 11:51 AM | Updated: 12:27 pm

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 09: Robbie Ray #38 of the Seattle Mariners pitches during the third...

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

It seemed like a matter of when, not if, the San Francisco Giants would acquire a starting pitcher this offseason.

While several reporters and insiders predict that the Giants will be involved in pursuits of some top free-agent arms, San Francisco has dipped into the trade market by acquiring a former Cy Young Award winner.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Giants have reached an agreement with the Seattle Mariners on a deal that will send left-hander Robbie Ray to San Francisco in return for starter Anthony DeSclafani and outfielder Mitch Haniger.

Ray, 32, is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is projected to return to game action following the All-Star break in July.

More on new Giants pitcher Robbie Ray

It’s no secret that the San Francisco Giants have been big-fish hunting this offseason.

While the Giants have had high aspirations in acquiring star talent, they have fallen short in their pursuit of the top two talents on the market in Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, while the rival Los Angeles Dodgers have sunk nearly $1 billion into signing the Japanese duo.

Multiple reports have indicated that San Francisco is in on free agent third baseman Matt Chapman and reigning NL Cy Young award winner Blake Snell, but the move to acquire Ray provides the Giants with insurance in case the next crop of big-name players choose other destinations.

Ray, who took home the 2021 American League Cy Young Award after posting a 13-7 record and 2.84 ERA while striking out a league-leading 248 batters with the Toronto Blue Jays, signed a five-year, $115 million deal with Seattle before the 2022 season.

Since joining the Mariners, Ray holds a 12-13 record and a 3.71 ERA to go along with 215 strikeouts over 192.1 innings pitched.

During the 2022 season, Ray became the second-fastest pitcher to 1,500 punch-outs (1,220.0 innings), only trailing San Diego Padres right-hander Yu Darvish (1,216.1 innings).

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Ray underwent Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm during the 2023 season and won’t return to the mound until July, something that holds relevance during a potential opt-out season for the left-hander.

The veteran pitcher can exercise an opt-out clause in his contract following the 2024 season and leave the remaining two years and $50 million on the table to test the free agent market.

San Francisco had a log-jam of outfielders, and by sending Mitch Hangier to the Mariners–the team that the outfielder called home from 2017-22–the Giants can free up time for a group that includes Jung Hoo Lee, Michael Conforto, Mike Yastrzemski, and Austin Slater.

Ray could act as a deadline-esque type of addition to San Francisco’s rotation upon his return in July, but it’s unlikely that the Giants will stop here.

If Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi can pull off a deal for Snell, Montgomery, or another arm on the free agent market, San Francisco will be in a much stronger position to battle for a postseason spot in 2024.

SF Giants Schedule

Spring Training

  • February 13-15th – Pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training workouts
  • February TBD – Full squad workouts
  • Saturday, February 24th – Spring Training opener vs. Chicago Cubs

Regular Season

  • Thursday, March 28th-Sunday, March 31st – @ San Diego Padres
  • Monday, April 1st-Wednesday, April 3rd – @ Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Friday, April 5th-Sunday, April 7th – vs. San Diego Padres

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