The Minnesota Twins still have plenty of options as they continue their search for a staff ace.
Despite missing out on Yu Darvish, the Minnesota Twins still believe they will build upon their wild card birth from last season. And while the positional players the Twins have look ready to blossom, their rotation still lacks a true staff ace.
A report surfaced late Sunday night that the Twins were shifting their focus toward Chris Archer, the 29-year-old starter from Tampa Bay. Archer has been linked to a few teams the last few offseasons but has remained with the Rays.
The Twins have the prospects to make a deal for Archer work, it just depends on whether or not they want to mortgage their farm system for one guy. And while Archer’s had his ups and downs over his five-plus seasons in Tampa Bay, he’s still has a career 3.63 ERA, despite posting back-to-back four-plus ERA seasons in ’16 and ’17.
But what makes Archer so polarizing is his strikeout ability and his team-friendly contract. Archer’s strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) was a gaudy 11.15 last season. Only Chris Sale, Robbie Ray, Max Scherzer and Corey Kluber registered more. When you pair his elite K/9 with a contract that has him under team control for the next four seasons at an average annual salary of $7.5 mil. he looks a lot more enticing.
Archer is an absolute bargain, and it’s not crazy to think his numbers would improve not having to face the AL East as much. But if the Twins do decide to avoid making a trade for a starter, it sounds like Jake Arrieta could be a potential option in Minnesota.
Arrieta is likely looking for something close to what Yu Darvish received from the Cubs, and he reportedly was offered that by the Cubs just before they heard back from Darvish.Other, cheaper free agent options are Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and to a lesser extent Jamie Garcia, who spent a week with the Twins last July.
Regardless, the Twins plan on adding another starter to their rotation before the start of the season, even if spring training starts next week for most clubs. The Twins know that while Jose Berrios is a talented pitcher, they need another arm to be considered serious contenders in the AL Central and get out of the wild card in 2018.