Chris Archer trade rumors now indicate that there are multiple teams “engaged in consistent trade talks” with the Tampa Bay Rays. This might indicate that the Rays are getting closer to pulling the trigger on an Archer trade. A report by Jon Morosi posted on MLB.com goes on to explain that the Rays are looking to cut payroll for the 2018 season, something that likely became clear to fans when they traded Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants.
As for teams that are linked to the Rays in these Chris Archer trade rumors, the Minnesota Twins are interested if they cannot land Yu Darvish and the St. Louis Cardinals have already been linked to open negotiations with the Rays. This appears to be one of the dominos that are keeping the MLB offseason from really taking off, as there is All-Star-caliber starting pitching available through trade and free agency. A number of teams are likely waiting for the right price to show itself.
If Darvish ends up signing soon, that could also increase the number of teams interested in landing Archer. That could, in turn, increase the value of any package of players that the Rays might get in return. It doesn’t hurt the front office of the Rays to wait a little while longer, especially since desperate teams could surface should one of them miss out on signing Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta in free agency. Maybe that was the plan all along.
Rays pitcher Chris Archer is here for the @UCF_MBB game against Cincinnati.. but to cheer on Cincy’ Forwars Gary Clark..who is from Clayton, North Carolina.. near the same home town as his. pic.twitter.com/cPTxXADqmW
— Despina (@DespinaBarton) January 16, 2018
The 2017 MLB season was a rough one for Chris Archer. He posted a 10-12 record, along with a 4.07 ERA and 1.259 WHIP in 34 starts. Archer also had 249 strikeouts in just 201 innings, showing that he might have also suffered some bad luck on the mound. This is just one season after leading the league with 19 losses and a 4.02 ERA for the Rays. In 160 career starts, he now has a 3.63 ERA and 1.214 WHIP.
Archer has a very team-friendly deal, which could be why the Rays have been reluctant to part with him and why so many other teams keep popping up in MLB trade rumors. He will make about $6.4 million this year and then roughly $7.7 million the following season. Archer then has two team options worth $9 million in 2020 and then $11 million in 2021. That’s a lot of team-control for anyone entering into the Chris Archer sweepstakes.
His recent struggles raise some questions about Archer leading a new team, but there is no shortage of interest in him on the market. It all comes down to the Tampa Bay Rays finding a trade package they are comfortable with and pulling the trigger on a deal that will save them even more money next season.