All Chicago White Sox fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Robbie Ray is not coming to an American League Central Division rival. Instead of going back to the Toronto Blue Jays, he decided to sign a five-year deal worth 115 million dollars with the Seattle Mariners.
He earned that big contract after having a brilliant year that earned him the AL Cy Young Award. He won it over Lance Lynn who was also a nominee along with Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees.
Ray was so good in 2021. He had an ERA of 2.84 with a WHIP of 1.045. He also had 248 strikeouts over 193.1 innings pitched which is a really impressive total. All of that accumulated to a 6.7 WAR so it makes perfect sense that he won the Cy Young Award for the American League.
He’s going out west is good for the Chicago White Sox because they won’t have to face him as much. They will still see him as a fellow American League team but it won’t be nearly as much as if he was on a division rival.
Robbie Ray is not going to be a Chicago White Sox division rival which is good.
With the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021, he absolutely dominated the White Sox. The Sox offense was very good but they just couldn’t get to Ray for whatever reason. He is a very good pitcher so a lot of teams had a hard time getting to him but it was extra difficult for the south siders.
He pitched in 13.1 innings against the White Sox in 2021. In those 13.1 innings, he dominated his way through the lineup with 27 strikeouts. 67.5 percent of the White Sox hitters that he faced were punched out without contact which is truly amazing. That is not the type of White Sox dominator that you want coming to the Central Division of the AL.
It would be nice to see the White Sox sign a pitcher like this but the Mariners have been all over free agency. They are right there with the New York Mets, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays as the most active teams so far this offseason. They might not be done either.
It will be fun to see if the White Sox can do something about this issue next year. They will certainly face Ray and the Mariners will be a good team. It is time for the White Sox to finally jump into this free-agent market and make some noise themselves. For now, be happy Ray is on the West Coast.