4) Worst contracts in the AL West: Robbie Ray
Following a season where they were eliminated from postseason contention on the final day of the regular season, the Mariners decided to make some huge moves. One of them was the trade that netted them Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez. The other was the signing of reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray.
The Blue Jays turned Ray from an average to below-average starter into a guy who won a Cy Young. Ray turned that Cy Young into a lucrative five-year $115 million dollar deal.
I figured regression was coming for Ray but didn't think it'd come as quickly or as hard as it did in 2022.
Ray went 12-12 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts. His 4.17 FIP suggests he might've even gotten a bit lucky with his ERA.
Ray was signed to be the ace of the Mariners staff but didn't really pitch like an ace. Before the trade deadline, Logan Gilbert was the Mariners' best starter, after the deadline Luis Castillo was the unquestioned ace.
An argument could be made that Ray is the fourth-best starter on the Mariners staff, behind Castillo, Gilbert, and rookie George Kirby.
In the postseason, Ray allowed four runs in just three innings and was bailed out by his bullpen in Game 2 of the Wild Card round. In his next appearance, he threw just two pitches and gave up a walk-off home run to Yordan Alvarez in relief. Ray didn't make another start in the postseason.
Ray came up small for the Mariners when they needed him most, after a pretty underwhelming regular season.
Ray is scheduled to make $21 million dollars in 2023, $23 million dollars in 2024, and $25 million dollars in 2025 and 2026.
The 31-year-old might already be on the decline with four more years guaranteed on his contract. The Mariners are a great and very fun team to watch, but this Ray contract will not age well and might hold them back from winning it all.