Rays starter Chris Archer‘s name is bound to come up in trade rumors throughout the offseason. He’s 29 years old and will cost a relatively meager $13.75 million over the next two seasons combined, and he has two club options for the 2020-21 seasons as well, worth a combined $20 million.
GM Erik Neander realizes this. On MLB Network Radio, he said the front office is respectful of phone calls that come in asking about Archer, but said that the right-hander is “exactly the type of player that we need to have … to have a chance to win.” He added that Archer is the type of player the Rays need to build around.
Archer finished the 2017 season with a 4.07 ERA and a 249/60 K/BB ratio across 201 innings. He’s had a four-plus ERA in each of the last two seasons. However, among his five full seasons, Archer posted his best strikeout and walk rates — 29.2 percent and seven percent, respectively — in 2017, suggesting that his best years may lie ahead of him.
The small-market Rays, though, are no strangers to unloading a prized player. Perhaps most famously, the club sent lefty David Price to the Tigers ahead of the 2014 non-waiver trade deadline. It is sadly a reality for many small-market teams that they need to recoup value on their players sooner rather than later because they don’t have the same financial muscle to retain players that other teams have.