Thursday, June 21, 2018

Predicting the 2018 MLB Trade Deadline: Chris Archer



Starting pitching, as usual, is going to come at a premium before the July 31st trading deadline and one such pitcher that I can see being traded is a familiar foe for the New York Yankees. His name is Chris Archer and he is a right-handed starter for the Tampa Bay Rays. As much as I would like the Yankees to be able to acquire such a talent like Archer I truly believe that Tampa Bay would refuse to deal him to the Yankees just based off principle. With that in mind I think there will be many suitors for Archer if he were to be made available, but no suitor will outbid the Arizona Diamondbacks for his services. That is my prediction anyway, and here’s why.  

First and foremost, the Rays don’t necessarily need to trade Archer yet as the right-hander comes with team control for the 2019 season and a pair of team options for the 2020 ($9 million option, $1.75 million buyout) and 2021 ($11 million option, $250K buyout) seasons respectively, but trading Archer makes the most sense in order to jump start their rebuild. The team shed salary and traded away most of their best MLB-caliber players during the offseason before 2018 and there were reports that the team at least dangled and listened to offers for Archer, although no team ever got reportedly close. Archer drastically needs a change of scenery and a trade to the National League West would benefit him immensely in my opinion, as well as boost the starting staff of a team that is desperately trying to win now with Patrick Corbin inching towards free agency in 2019.  

I am under no illusions that I am an expert in the needs of the Rays, although I would assume they would take the best available talent in terms of prospects that are close to MLB ready, and I am also under no illusions that I know more about the state of the Diamondbacks farm system than can be found in a simple Google search, but my first impressions are that Arizona has the pieces to get a deal done.  

On MLB.com’s Top 30 prospects list for the Diamondbacks there are fifteen starting pitchers including four in their Top 10 prospects list, #1 overall RHP Jon Duplantier, #4 RHP Taylor Widener, #7 RHP Taylor Clarke, and #9 overall RHP Matt Tabor. One of two of these would have to be included in a potential deal I would think, further boosting the fourth best farm system in all of Major League Baseball in 2018. Tampa Bay may also be interested in Arizona’s third base prospect Drew Ellis as the Rays don’t have a third base prospect in their Top 30 prospects.  

The “who” in the deal is an unknown and all of the above players mentioned are purely speculation on my part, but the fact that the Diamondbacks will likely be interested in and would likely acquire Archer’s services if he were to be made available is written in stone in my opinion. The Diamondbacks have the prospects to get the deal done, the Rays likely want to sell him this July, and Arizona needs the pitching boost if they want to hold off and dethrone the Los Angeles Dodgers. It seems like a match made in baseball heaven, and we have a little over a month until we potentially see the deal all play out. 

4 comments:

  1. The Rays already refused to deal him to the Yankees during the off season.

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    1. Did you read the post, or did you just comment because of the headline?

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  2. I think the Dodgers would make every attempt to outbid the Diamondbacks for Chris Archer. They've been after the pitcher for years.

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    1. Sure, I would agree with that. Truth be told Los Angeles may have a better farm system than Arizona too, but I think Arizona would sell the farm for Archer to win now before Corbin hits free agency, I am not sure the Dodgers would though.

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