In an effort to remain competitive in the National League East, the Philadelphia Phillies have been scouting and keeping close tabs on Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray of the Arizona Diamondbacks, reports Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.
Acquiring Greinke, who is having his best year (2.93 ERA, 0.95 WHIP) since joining the D-Backs prior to the 2016 season, won't come cheap. The 35-year-old is still owed the remainder of his 2019 salary plus $35 million annually in both 2020 and 2021.
Ray would be the more affordable option and is arbitration-eligible in 2020 after earning $6 million this year. The 27-year-old owns an outstanding 11.69 K/9 rate but is also walking 4.38 per nine, according to FanGraphs.
The Phillies have been linked to Ray for more than a week but should have competition from the New York Yankees and Houston Astros.
Philadelphia's rotation has not performed well this year. Its 4.57 ERA sits 11th in the league, while its 5.05 FIP is the NL's worst.
Phillies starters - 2019 stats
The Phillies sit 7 1/2 games back of the Atlanta Braves for top spot in their division and are also 1/2 game back of the second wild-card spot.