There has been an abundance of rumors this offseason. One that has popped up recently is about Chris Archer.
The MLB offseason hasn’t been a memorable one so far. The two big splashes — the Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton deals — came very early. Also, there are still a ton of free agents out there sitting on the couch. Many teams are saving up for next year’s star-studded class. With that said, the lack of activity is kind of alarming considering spring training is less than a month away.
The Tampa Bay Rays are not a team that is going to open their checkbook. As a small market club, they need to heavily rely on data analysis and building up through the draft. The team has shown that due to having six prospects in the top 100. Also, some of those guys are close to MLB ready, so expect a youth movement coming soon.
Rays righty Chris Archer has seen his name come up plenty of times through the rumor mill. Here is what he said about his status with the team:
“I’ve talked to (GM) Erik (Neander) a lot and he’s made me feel pretty good about being with the Rays in 2018.”
So, the Rays star pitcher thinks he’ll be staying put in 2018. Depending on how the rest of the FA market shakes out, that could put other teams in a bidding war for Tampa’s coveted righty. Furthermore, a deal for Archer would cost premier minor league talent. A team would basically be trading the farm system for the right-hander.
That shouldn’t deter teams from pursuing him, especially clubs that are right on the cusp of a World Series. With that said, there are a plethora of suitors for Archer considering his contract. In 2017, the righty threw 201 innings and tossed a 4.07 ERA. His K/9 was one of the highest of his career at 11.15. Albeit the decent ERA, he still accumulated a 4.6 WAR, an All-Star caliber number.
The Tampa Bay Rays ace signed a six-year, $25.5-million deal with two option years in 2014. This year alone Archer was worth $36.6 million dollars. That just goes to show the great value Tampa is getting out of this deal. That’s why he’s so valuable and will require a massive haul. Ultimately, the Rays should see better days soon enough considering the number of quality prospects, with or without Archer. Only time will tell.