Jon Paul Morosi reports the Rays are having “consistent trade talks” around Chris Archer this offseason.
In an offseason where the Rays were expected to be active in dealing names like Jake Odorizzi or Alex Colome, the team has instead made only the surprise deal of Evan Longoria, initiating the first rebuild in Tampa Bay in more than a decade.
Now Morosi, in an article exploring Yu Darvish’s market, reports Archer could be next (emphasis mine):
One possible explanation for the lack of a Darvish deal is the availability of right-handers Chris Archer (Rays) and Michael Fulmer (Tigers) on the trade market. Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last month that the Yankees had looked at both starting pitchers, and one source confirmed to MLB.com that the Tigers and Yankees have had trade discussions regarding Fulmer.
A separate source said the Rays have remained engaged in consistent trade talks regarding Archer in recent weeks. The Twins are viewed as a possible landing spot for Archer if they don’t sign Darvish. The Cardinals also have spoken with the Rays about Archer, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
In an offseason where trades have largely underwhelmed fan bases, it’s hard to fathom the Rays dealing their most valuable trade chip. Gerritt Cole could only muster the Astros’ leftovers in a deal, and has been the lone frontline starter traded this offseason.
Few deals seem to dazzle. The NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton was traded for peanuts, and in their own experience, Tampa Bay had to send money alongside Evan Longoria and take on a veteran contract to complete a deal for infield prospect Christian Arroyo.
Should a trade of Archer come into focus, the recently released Baseball America top-100 indicates the Cardinals — Alex Reyes (17), Jack Flaherty (53), Carson Kelly (55), Tyler O’Neill (86) — have more to bargain with than the Twins — Royce Lewis (24), Brent Rooker (92), Nick Gordon (93), Wander Javier (95), Stephen Gonsalves (97).
Read More Top-100: 6 Rays in Baseball America’s top 100 prospects
The Rays will of course be talking to more than just two teams. If the Baseball America top-100 shows anything, it’s that the Cubs and Royals appear to lack any top flight prospects to make a deal. With the graduation of Cubs utility prospect Ian Happ, neither team placed a minor league player in the Top-100.
Archer could be traded, but given the underwhelming market and the ticking clock, probably not... right?
#22 days until pitchers & catchers.— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) January 22, 2018
Are the Rays going to trade Chris Archer?
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It’s a fire, sale!
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They better not!