According to Ken Rosenthal, Chris Archer is drawing significant interest on the market:
Is 2018 the year Archer is finally moved? The Rays have been in a constant state of almost competing for a playoff spot the last few years, currently sitting at 50-49. While I respect the idea of trying to put out the best roster they can as a low market team, (instead of joining the myriad of teams out of contention) it may be time for the Rays to deal Archer. They should get out of Tampa by relocating and completely rebuild, hopefully with less cheap owners. Archer might finally escape Tampa Bay.
Archer has been solid this season with a 4.30 ERA in 16 games after missing time with a left abdominal strain. He has showed signs of his elite past this season and at only 29-years-old the right-hander may just need a change of scenery. In 2015 Archer posted a 3.23 ERA in 212 IP, with 252 Ks to 66 BBs. Archer could still blossom into a dominate starter if placed on a contender. Chris Archer went only 31-29 between 2013-2015 despite pitching like an ace for three straight seasons (3.26 ERA in 535.1 IP).
Archer has a unique contract situation. He could become a free agent after 2019, but has club options in 2020 and 2021 worth $8,250,000. That number is an absolute steal for Archer which would allow Tampa to really drive up his price. To add to that, Archer is far more talented than the other names being thrown around this deadline excluding deGrom who will not get dealt. The team that deals for him will be keeping him for a long time, so where could he end up?
New York Yankees
No chance. The Yankees will be mentioned a lot and will have plenty of interest but not even the Rays would trade a guy of his talent in division until 2021. They need a starter more than any other contender but will not be acquiring Chris Archer’s talents.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are also in need of a starter, but will not land David Price’s successor for the same reason as the Yankees. That and the fact that they have zero talented prospects.
The Mariners are somehow 59-40 with a -5 run differential. They win close games by the skin of their teeth with a closer in Edwin Diaz who has been unstoppable. They could really use some ace like pitching behind James Paxton with a starting pitcher team ERA of 4.06, 15th in the league. The Mariners sit six games behind the Astros and are being chased by the Athletics who are only trailing by three games and are officially buyers. Adding Archer would give the Mariners some insurance on their way to Wild Card spot number two.
General manager Matt Klentak has suggested a desire to obtain a young, skilled and controllable starting pitcher according to Brad Berreman of fansided.com. Archer definitely fits that description. However, before todays game Klentak said “We’re very encouraged about not only the five here but also what we have in Triple-A, and we’re hopeful that’s going to mean that we can stay out of the starting pitcher trade market at the Deadline, because if you can avoid it, that is definitely a market to avoid.” It feels like he is referring more to rentals than a guy like Archer but this quote certainly leads me to believe Archer to Phillies is nowhere near in the works.
The Brewers have a starting pitcher team ERA of 3.91, 10th in the MLB. They are currently 56-45, 3.5 games back of the Cubs and hold the second Wild Card spot. They have a young, talented core that Archer could become a huge part of. They have the prospects to get the deal done and the talent to contend.
The Braves are in a really good spot with their starters posting a 3.57 ERA, 5th in the league. That said the Braves are another team that have talked about trading for controllable guys rather than rentals. Adding Archer would create a rotation that would consist of All-Star Mike Foltynewicz (7-5, 2.66 ERA), Sean Newcomb (8-5, 3.51 ERA), Julio Teheran (7-6, 4.00 ERA) Chris Archer (3-4, 4.30 ERA), and Anibal Sanchez (5-2, 2.88 ERA). The Braves have the firepower in the farm system to make the deal and would create a young, controllable pitching core to a team that already has young position players like Freeman, Albies, Acuna Jr., and Swanson.
The Diamondbacks are in the hunt to win the National League West Division. They currently sit 1.5 games back with a 54-46 record. Arizona was willing to make a splash as one of the teams in the Machado sweepstakes and should now shift their attention to Archer. The Diamondbacks have a starting pitcher team ERA of 4.12, 16th in the league. They could use a boost in the rotation, and Archer could be that guy. They have the prospects and may need to make a blockbuster trade to counter the Dodgers acquisition of Manny Machado.
There is no guarantee Chris Archer goes anywhere, but if he does, this is the list of teams who will make a call for him if they haven’t already. Teams like the Cubs may call as well, but this is the list of teams I think should look into shaking up their rotation’s.
Scott Neville – Head Baseball Writer – WTF Sports