Robbie Ray stood in the visiting locker room at Yankee Stadium roughly 24 hours ahead of Wednesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline, unsure if he’ll be switching locker rooms or heading elsewhere — as one of the top available starting pitchers on the market — or remaining with Arizona.
Ray, who has posted a 9-7 record with a 3.91 ERA in 23 starts with the Diamondbacks this season, is among several starters to be tied in recent weeks to the Yankees, one of multiple contenders still seeking a rotational upgrade by Wednesday’s deadline.
“I haven’t put a whole lot of thought into it…Obviously, the Yankees are what they are, what they’ve been over the past 150 years or however long baseball has been around,” Ray said before Tuesday’s series opener of a two-game series in the Bronx. “I feel like I’ve put myself in position, in a really good spot this year. I feel really good about where I’m at, and we’ll see how everything falls into place.
“Obviously, if I get sent somewhere, I definitely want to compete for a World Series. So it’s definitely a big part of it.”
When asked if he was flattered by the Yankees’ interest, Ray replied, “I guess, in a way, yeah.” It also was pointed out to Ray that he’d have to shave a beard he said he’s been sporting for about six years, as per Yankees team policy, and he joked it’d be “a sacrifice.”
The 2017 All-Star added that his wife doesn’t like his facial hair anyway, and she’s been the one updating him on various trade rumors.
“I’ve been saying it, I go about my business every five days and whatever happens will happen,” Ray said. “I haven’t looked too much into it. Obviously, I know it’s out there, but I’m not just scouring the web looking at stuff.”
Ray, 27, went from Detroit to the Diamondbacks in the three-team trade that brought shortstop Didi Gregorius to the Yankees in 2014. The lefty has gone 30-14 with a 3.52 ERA and 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings in that span. He also has averaged 4.0 walks per nine in his career, but the Nashville native has walked just four batters with 36 Ks in winning three of his past four outings this month.
“I feel like my last few starts have been really good, I feel like I’ve been throwing the ball really well lately,” Ray said. “Obviously, no walks and 11 strikeouts [in his last start against Miami] is kind of a good way to kind of put a stamp on it before all this happens. So yeah, I feel good about where I’m at.”
Either way, Ray knows his whereabouts for the remainder of this season will be resolved by Wednesday.
“I’m ready for it,” he said. “I know it’s going to happen in the next couple of days, and I’m ready for those questions, but I’m also ready for them to end.”