Dan Szymborski posted his Top 25 MLB Assets (ESPN Insider Required) and two Rays make the list. Szymborski used his ZIPS projections to come up with surplus value and then rearranged at his discretion based on contract length, among other factors.
Chris Archer comes in at number 12 at a projected +17.3 wins due to a rather team friendly deal that could see him in Tampa Bay through 2021 at a total cost of $41.25MM.
Despite having the most projected surplus of pitchers Szymborski places him right behind Chris Sale (#10) and Noah Syndergaard (#11), and ahead of Jose Fernandez (#14).
12. Chris Archer, SP
6 years, $25.5 million (2014-19)
Guaranteed left: $21.25M
Surplus value: +17.3 wins
14. Jose Fernandez, SP
1-year deal, then arbitration
Free agent after 2018 season
Surplus value: +10.1 wins
Fernandez is coming off surgery and is not attached to a long term deal, so perhaps the ranking is not a complete surprise.
The real surprise comes in his placing of Kevin Kiermaier at number 22 due to his +14.2 wins in surplus value. Since defense is rarely paid a premium in real dollars, it may or may not be surprising to see Kiermaier rank so highly on a list of this nature. His recognition is certainly a plus.
Having Archer and Kiermaier -- at their caliber, rightfully two of the most valued players of all of MLB -- at bargain rates allows the Rays to stay competitive when the financial constraints suggest they should not be able to.