As we saw earlier Monday, the hypothetical asking price for Jose Fernandez is pretty ridiculous. So, should the Dodgers pursue that further, or look for other options in the market of elite, young starting pitchers?
The answer is both, probably, but the price isn’t necessarily dropping.
The next pitcher whose value was put into perspective was Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays, by Dave Cameron of FanGraphs, and if fans balked at trading for Hernandez, they really won’t like this.
Obviously, Archer would cost a ton. Over the summer, I rated him as the 10th most valuable trade asset in baseball, ranking one spot behind Andrew McCutchen. He’s a top-tier pitcher signed to an absurdly team-friendly contract, as he’s guaranteed just $23 million over the next four years, or just $38 million over the next six seasons assuming the two team options are picked up.
And yes, that means putting Corey Seager on the table.
To help matters worse, the possibility that asking prices are higher for the Dodgers than other clubs because of the Andrew Friedman connection has been lobbed out there.
The deal, according to Cameron, could basically start at Seager-for-Archer straight up, as explains here:
Archer’s five year WAR projection put him at +20.9, while Seager projected for +20.3 WAR over the next five years. Both players are actually under team control for six years, and Seager is more likely to be a valuable contributor in 2021 than Archer is, but the expected production during the next half-dozen years should be similar.
He notes in a previous piece Seager is more valuable by himself than Jose Fernandez, so he likely won’t be included in any deal going to Miami. Go ahead and let out a sigh, Dodgers fans. For now, it would appear Seager isn’t going anywhere, as Archer feels a lot less-likely to be moved than Fernandez.
Now, back to the potential deal. Again, according to Cameron the move can grow based on team need and as pieces make other players less valuable to their respective teams.
A final deal could look something like:
- Jake McGee – An elite-level relief pitcher to replace Aroldis Chapman as a target.
- Brad Miller – The Rays’ shortstop who wouldn’t fill the hole left by Seager, but could platoon with Kike Hernandez at short.
- Austin Barnes – The Rays need help at catcher.
- Alex Guerrero – A potential DH for Tampa.
- Zach Lee – Pitching help to round out the deal.
This deal would be insanely complicated for all involved, as are most trades involving assets at or near the top of any organization’s most-valuable list. It bears mentioning the Dodgers consider Seager as close to untradeable as they’ll ever admit about anyone, but as do the Rays with Archer.
If a deal is pieced together that lands Archer in L.A. that doesn’t involve Seager going to Tampa, the Dodgers will have easily won the deal.
Cameron’s piece deals with the various levels and defines through statistics and contractual control the insane values both Seager and Archer hold with their respective teams. It’s more than worth your time.