It has become something of a cycle. The Rays develop a good pitcher. That pitcher enjoys success while the good fortunes of the team ebb and flow. The Rays trade that pitcher for a package of prospects when the team’s fortunes ebb too far and the pitcher’s contract starts to get too expensive. Time is a flat circle, and it may be time for the ritual to take place once again, this time with Chris Archer at the center of the baseball pentagram. The Rays are reportedly open to moving their marquee players in the name of lowering payroll. While Archer isn’t the most expensive player on the roster, he is almost certainly the most valuable. Given that the pitching market this winter gets rather sparse apart from Shohei Ohtani and Yu Darvish, Archer represents a rather attractive alternative. Because he has as many as four remaining years of control (two guaranteed years and two team options) at a very affordable price, as well as the need for the Rays to effectively sell the move to their fans, Archer will not come cheap in a trade. Here are some of the teams that need a pitcher of Archer’s caliber, and could potentially afford him. Brewers The Brewers represent the most obvious match. They’re reported to be interested in acquiring a front-line starter, and understandably so. Milwaukee’s rotation is not a strong point of the roster, and that’s before even taking into account that Jimmy Nelson will miss at least a few months. Archer fits in perfectly, and would form a rather formidable duo with Nelson in a playoff series. Milwaukee also has one of the best farm systems in the game. The Brewers should easily be able to send any number of their impressive minor league outfielders and a pitching prospect for Archer. The Cubs are not the unbeatable force they were in 2016, and with the Brewers on the rise, Archer would be a fine weapon with which to attack the NL Central title. Cardinals The St. Louis rotation isn’t what it used to be. Adam Wainwright isn’t what he used to be, and the pitchers beyond Carlos Martinez all have question marks of their own. The Cardinals are apparently focused on acquiring Giancarlo Stanton, and if they succeed it’ll probably take them out of the running from making a second major trade. The St. Louis farm is capable, but not the endless source of depth it once was. If Stanton eludes them, the Cardinals may seek to buy a bat on the free-agent market and refocus their efforts on Archer. Twins Thad Levine will need to do as much as he can to keep pace with Cleveland. Given that the Minnesota rotation is rather sparse beyond Ervin Santana, a trade for Archer would do worlds of good for the Twins. Archer and Santana would represent two quality starters, and the rotation would be even stronger if Jose Berrios builds on the gains he made toward the end of the season.
Chris Archer would really help these eight teams
Sporting News | Nov 29