While the Brewers’ first move of Trade Deadline week to re-acquire Jordan Lyles may come off as underwhelming to some, there’s no indication that David Stearns is done.
Jon Heyman provides us that reminder with the latest rumor connecting the Brewers to one of the better non-rental options that may be available at the trade deadline in Arizona’s Robbie Ray.
Brewers and Astros remain engaged on Robbie Ray. Yanks and others also interested.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 29, 2019
The Brewers’ interest in Ray has been reported before, and there’s plenty to like about the 27-year-old lefty’s 173 strikeouts in 129 innings for the Diamondbacks this year. That’s ace-like stuff, the kind of potentially front-end pitching the Brewers have sorely needed. The walks have prevented him from taking the leap to True Ace, and his flyball tendencies may be a little scary for Miller Park, but he’s managed that fairly well in the hitter-friendly Arizona environment.
Ray would also be under team control for next season as well, giving the Brewers a tantalizing 1-2 combination with Brandon Woodruff heading into 2020.
As Heyman notes, though, the Brewers are far from the only team dreaming on what Ray could be if he ever figured out the walks problem.
That could mean a bidding war in the next couple days, and given the premium put on strikeout stuff these days, he could conceivably fetch a better return than what the Blue Jays got for Marcus Stroman. If the Brewers want to add a difference-maker, though, there aren’t many pitchers available that would fit that bill better than Ray.
David Stearns isn’t about to come right out and say, “yeah I definitely need to do something else in the next couple days,” but he did tell Tom Haudricourt following the Lyles trade that other conversations are ongoing.
Asked if he expected to acquire more pitching, #Brewers David Stearns said, "I don't know. Conversations continue to go on. As we get closer to the deadline, the frequency and specificity generally increase. But handicapping the likelihood of another deal is tough to call now."— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 29, 2019
It’s worth noting that most of Stearns’ trades — like today’s deal for Lyles — usually come without much warning, and have been for names the Brewers haven’t been rumored to be after. We’ll see if that holds true for Ray — who may also have another potentially interested team in St. Louis.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference