Chris Archer is under contract for four more seasons. That fact has to be the starting point for any discussion about the potential of Chris Archer being traded by the Tampa Bay Rays. It doesn't matter whether the discussion is you and your friends talking about the hypothetical possibility or whether it's an actual big-league GM calling actual Rays GM Erik Neander. Four years of control. Another thing that doesn't matter: that the Rays traded franchise icon Evan Longoria to San Francisco this offseason, or that they dealt starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi to Minnesota or that they dispatched 57 home runs worth of production when they traded Steven Souza Jr. (30 homers in 2017) to Arizona and Corey Dickerson (27 homers) to Pittsburgh. And it doesn't matter that, barring a baseball miracle, the Rays are not going to be competitive in 2018. None of these things matter because Chris Archer is under contract for four more seasons, and those four seasons are very, very club friendly. Archer, a 29-year-old starter who has made more starts than any pitcher in baseball over the past four seasons (133) and has a 3.66 ERA/3.37 FIP in those years, is making just $6.25 million in 2018 and $7.5 million in 2019. There are two club options, for $9 million in 2020 and $11 million in 2021. The Rays are not trading Chris Archer for anything less than what they feel is his full value as a player. They aren't DFA'ing and then trading him to save a couple million bucks, like they did with Dickerson. They aren't dealing him like they did Longoria because Archer doesn't have no-trade power kicking in anytime soon (at all, actually). But you can bet lots of teams are very interested in adding Archer. Let's take a look at 10 of those squads. The likely candidates … Phillies: The Phillies are, unmistakably, a team on the rise. They have promising youngsters at nearly every position, and they signaled their intention to transition from rebuilding to contending when they signed veteran first baseman Carlos Santana to a three-year, $60 million free-agent contract early in the offseason. They have a stable of young, high-upside starting pitchers who could develop into impact rotation pieces in the majors. Or, they could package one of two of those guys in an attempt to land a much more established rotation presence to join Aaron Nola at the top of what would be an outstanding 1-2 rotation combo. And, with Archer under contract for four more years at a very reasonable salary, this is much different than a short-term midseason rental or throwing heaps of cash at Jake Arrieta, a free agent they've been connected to often this offseason. Cardinals: The Cardinals have been patient. The identified a need (power) and went out and traded for slugger Marcel Ozuna after Giancarlo Stanton exercised his no-trade power and vetoed a potential deal. They've been linked to most every player available this offseason, via free agency or trade, because they have the money and prospects to make pretty much anything happen. From that perspective, Archer makes a lot of sense in St. Louis. He also make sense because this is a franchise that's missed the postseason for two years in a row, only the second such stretch in the 2000s. The Cardinals have plenty of rotation options behind ace Carlos Martinez and, to a lesser extent, Michael Wacha, but there are question marks. Adam Wainwright is 36. Miles Mikolas spent the past couple of years in Japan. Luke Weaver and Jack Flaherty are still newbies. That group could very well be playoff-solid, but adding Archer into that mix as a co-ace with Martinez makes that rotation look much, much better. Braves: The Braves are in a situation similar to the one in Philadelphia. They're going through a rebuilding process, and they're likely (hopefully?) entering the upswing portion of that process and heading toward legitimate contention by next year at the latest. And they, too, have a lot of solid, high-upside young pitchers who could become rotation-impact guys. But Archer offers a lot more certainty, and he's the type of star a team can build a playoff contender around. Plus, having Archer in their rotation would be the kind of drawing card a team playing in a still-new stadium would crave. Brewers: Milwaukee is a better team now than it was at the start of the offseason, no doubt. But that rotation still needs work. The Brewers reportedly made an offer to Yu Darvish, which shows they're serious about improving the pitching staff. At this point, after sending a nice prospect package to Miami in the trade for Christian Yelich, it seems more likely that they'd spend money on a free agent (Arrieta, Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb) than spend more prospect capital on Archer. But don't count them out. Dodgers: Yes, the Dodgers have lots of rotation options. Yes, they have elite pitching prospects who could make major impacts in 2018. But they also have a desire to A) Win the World Series and B) Control their payroll. Archer could help the Dodgers accomplish both goals. And remember that LA front-office guru Andrew Friedman traded for Archer once before, when he was the Rays' GM and Archer was a prospect in Cubs organization.