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Mariners partake in Cyber Monday, sign AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray

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Shoutout to whomever leaked the news to coincide with my lunch break

Oakland Athletics v Toronto Blue Jays
Mariners, this is your sign to gift us pinstripe pants this season
Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

With the entire baseball world refreshing Twitter like their lives depend on it, and a Seattle fanbase frothing at the bit, Jerry Dipoto has made his biggest Mariners free agent signing * yet * by inking Robbie Ray to a five-year, $115 million deal.

Mikey Ajeto will have a more in-depth analysis of Ray, as will many other writers, later this week, so for the sake of my day job - and yours - we’ll keep this simple.

THE WHO: Robert Glenn Ray, 30-year-old lefty, 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner and noted pants-wearer.

THE WHAT: A top strikeout dude waylaid by some command issues, Ray’s 2021 season answered the question: “What if Robbie Ray could stop walking guys?” with “He becomes a Cy Young pitcher.” He cut his walk rate in half last year, and though Steamer predicts a bit of regression he’s still tagged for a tantalizing 2022. Ray’s history of durability also adds particular value to a rotation like Seattle’s.

THE WHEN: Pending his physical, Ray will sign for five years and $115 million, with a a no-trade clause for his first two years and an opt out after the third year. On the most basic level, it’s a reasonably-priced, player-friendly deal that leaves plenty of room for additional FA spending.

THE WHERE: Seattle, duh. But in terms of starting rotation, Ray is a lock for the #1 slot.

THE WHY: Ray is instantly the M’s #1 starter, and represents an immediate and dramatic upgrade to a rotation on the cusp of Good. This is the type of deal Mariners fans have been salivating for, and signing the defending Cy Young pitcher sends a message to fans and players alike that Seattle is all in for 2022.

And it sounds like more may be on the horizon...

(though take this with a grain of Hey-salt, as always)