Chicago Cubs: Six potential starting pitching trade targets

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Robbie Ray

The Arizona Diamondbacks dealt Zack Greinke at the trade deadline this past year, and since it looks like they want to rebuild, they’ll probably be taking offers on soon-to-be 29-year-old southpaw Robbie Ray. Ray is arbitration-eligible this offseason and is under team control for another two years.

Ray could be a solid middle-of-the-rotation addition for the Cubs. His best season came in 2017, when he was an All-Star and finished seventh in National League Cy Young Award voting by posting a 2.89 ERA while leading the league strikeouts per nine innings. He followed that up with a decent 2018, posting a 3.93 ERA. In 2019, he made a career-high 33 starts, but his ERA went up again to 4.34.

A word of caution with Ray would be that his walk rates have been higher then you’d like to see, especially over the past two years. He’s walked at least 70 batters in each of the past four seasons, including 84 in 2019. He also gave up a career-high 30 home runs this past season. Still, strikeout rates have always been high; in 2019, he whiffed 12.1 batters per nine innings.

Like with some of the other names on this list, the Diamondbacks may wait to trade Ray and see if he can put together a solid first half of 2020 before moving him at the deadline. Yet if they want to move him this offseason, he could be a good buy-low candidate for the Cubs. They likely wouldn’t have to give up any big-name prospects for him and he’d be relatively affordable.