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Blue Jays stay busy on Trade Deadline, boost starting rotation

Last Updated Aug 31, 2020 at 5:18 pm EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray throws against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

In an effort to aid its playoff push, the Toronto Blue Jays made three trades on Monday, further bolstering a starting rotation that has been ravaged with injuries.

The Blue Jays acquired starting pitchers Robbie Ray from the Arizona Diamondbacks and Ross Stripling from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

They also traded for Jonathan Villar, acquiring the versatile infielder from the Miami Marlins.

The Diamondbacks will retain a portion of Ray’s $1.8 million salary this year.

Ray has struggled mightily this shortened season, pitching to a 7.84 ERA with a league-leading 31 walks in seven starts.

Optimism lies in his past numbers, as Ray was a dominant force with the Diamondbacks, striking out 12 batters per nine innings from 2017 to 2019.

In Villar, the Blue Jays will be getting a real threat on the base paths, as well as a player that can play multiple positions. He entered Monday with a league-leading nine stolen bases, hitting .272/.328/.360 in 29 games.

Stripling comes to Toronto after spending five years with the Dodgers. He’s combined to a 5.61 ERA in seven starts with the club, including 27 strikeouts. He’s under team control until 2023.

Toronto’s general manager Ross Atkins has been hard at work in recent weeks as the Blue Jays recently acquired Taijuan Walker and Dan Vogelbach from the Seattle Mariners.

Both Ray and Villar will be free agents at season’s end.

 

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