Of the new teams looking for Ray, it’s no surprise to see Detroit and San Francisco listed, as both clubs have been on the hunt for pitchers before and have been aggressive with a few early signings. The Tigers have agreed to sign Eduardo Rodriguez for five years and $ 77 million, while the Giants resigned Anthony DeSclafani and would have been on the verge of retaining another familiar face in Alex Wood.
While Ray would obviously be of great help to either team, the argument can be made that San Francisco is in greatest need. Pretty much the entire Giants’ rotation in 2021 was free agency eligible and left plenty of holes to fill Logan Webb. DeSclafani’s return filled one gap and Wood would fill another if he also resigned, however Kevin Gausman let the Giants sign a five-year, $ 110 million deal with the Blue Jays instead. If there is a bright side to Gausman’s departure, it could be that Toronto is apparently less likely to re-sign Ray, thereby eliminating some of the competition in the Giants chase.
The Tigers, on the other hand, have a slightly more complete rotation in E-Rod, Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Tarik Skubal all lined up for starting jobs, although the latter trio are promising but still lack Major League level experience. The addition of a proven veteran star like Ray makes this rotation much stronger and also provides full circle moment since Ray previously pitched for the Tigers in his 2014 rookie season. Detroit acquired Ray from the Nationals for Doug Fister in December 2013, then returned it to the Diamondbacks a year later in a three-team trade with the Yankees.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle at a Motor City meeting could be the draft pick compensation attached to Ray for rejecting the Jays’ qualifying offer, as Detroit has already given up on a pick to sign Rodriguez (who has also rejected an OQ of the Red Sox). As a club that received a revenue split in 2021, the Tigers’ penalty for Rodriguez was the loss of their third-highest selection, which will either be their second-round pick or their competitive balance-round pick. , according to which of the two CBRs the Tigers are drawn to this winter.
If the Tigers signed another QO-rejecting free agent like Ray, the Tigers would lose their fourth-highest draft in the 2022 draft. Given that Detroit still seems to be considering Ray, it looks like losing two picks in the draft isn’t out of the question. for the club. The presence of the additional CBR selection helps ease the pain, and the Tigers have obviously racked up a solid amount of young talent during their rebuilding years.
Likewise, the Giants are also expected to drop a draft pick for Ray. Given that San Francisco is not a revenue-sharing team and they haven’t gone over the luxury tax in 2021, the Giants would lose their second-highest pick and $ 500,000 from their international draft pool. if they signed Ray or any other free agent QO. . San Francisco issued a qualifying offer to one of its own free agents this winter, although Brandon belt ended up accepting the one-year contract to return to the team.
Minnesota is perhaps the most interesting of the new teams in the mix. Like the Tigers, the Twins are a beneficiary of revenue sharing and also the holder of a competitive equilibrium choice, which could mitigate the project capital they would lose to sign Ray. The Twins also have a strong need for pitch before spinning, because Jose Berrios was treated last summer, Michael Pineda is a free agent, and Kenta Maeda will most likely be missing the entire 2022 season due to Tommy John’s surgery.
Despite these factors, signing Ray for nearly five years and $ 130 million (MLBTR’s projection for the left-hander’s next deal) would represent the second-biggest contract in franchise history for the Twins and the kind of financial spend the Minnesota has traditionally preferred to avoid. However, the Twins have been open to greater spending in other free agent pursuits in recent years and have made such a notable deal with Josh Donaldson$ 92 million pact over four years during the 2019-20 offseason. Additionally, Minnesota just hit the nine-digit threshold by inking Byron Buxton to a seven-year extension that will be worth at least $ 100 million and possibly much more if Buxton hits various incentive clauses.
Spending around $ 26 million on Ray in average annual value would increase the Twins’ payroll in 2022 to around $ 119 million, but given that the club ended the 2018 campaign spending around $ 131 million on player salaries, Minnesota would still have room to make other additions. More, Miguel Sano, Taylor Rogers, and Tyler Duffey are not guaranteed beyond 2022, and Buxton and Randy Dobnak are the only Twins players on the books beyond the 2023 season.