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Rays activate Chris Archer

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After an absence of more than a month the Tampa Bay Rays have activated starter Chris Archer.

Archer went down in early June with an abdominal strain. When he went down he was sporting a 4.24 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/26 in 76.1 innings. Archer will now rejoin Blake Snell, Nate Eovaldi and the revolving cast of relievers in the Rays rotation.

Given the rumors which have swirled since the beginning if the season, one has to think that his next several starts will serve as an audition of sorts for would-be trade partners. Despite the injury, Archer is under team control through 2021, in part via team options, making him a very affordable front line starter which could net a nice return for the Rays who are perpetually in talent-collection mode and, being fair, probably should be given the place the Yankees and Red Sox are in the division at the moment.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.