Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer was the hot name at the 2016 trade deadline. Archer was in a down season, but the pedigree and contract – signed below $9 million annually through 2012 – made him arguably the most valuable asset potentially on the market.
DRays Bay of SB Nation relayed a rumor from Peter Gammons’ appearance on MLB Network. Gammons said he heard the Houston Astros, a team quite possibly an ace away from a pennant, offered an impressive package for the 28-year-old. Gammons talks Archer around the 2:30 mark.
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Kyle Tucker is the No. 35 prospect in baseball, Francis Martes is No. 29 and David Paulino is No. 47, according to Baseball America. They would possibly be included with another prospect or two as well. Gammons notes the offer is similar what Chicago wants for Jose Quintana.
Despite Houston’s willingness to dip into its rich farm, Tampa wasn’t having it.
‘No, we need more than that if we’re going to trade Chris Archer.’ Gammons said of Tampa Bay’s response.
It’s more than reasonable for the Rays to ask for a bounty. L.A. hasn’t been connected to Archer this offseason outside an early mention. They were rumored to join Houston, Chicago Cubs, Texas and Atlanta as teams who checked on Archer in early December. The asking price is probably one reason we haven’t heard much beyond that. The Dodgers haven’t budged on offering more than Jose De Leon for Brian Dozier. They value their minor league depth and ripping it apart for one pitcher is counterintuitive to Andrew Friedman’s long-term vision.
— Gabe Burns (@GabeBurns_DN) January 5, 2017
Perspective: An offer in the same ballpark as Houston’s would be Cody Bellinger (#24), De Leon (#25) and Alex Verdugo (#44). Note those ratings are obviously subjective and don’t reflect how Tampa Bay may view them. The Rays rejected a similar deal if Gammons is correct. It could potentially cost more than Boston paid for Chris Sale to pry Archer out of Central Florida.
There’s little reason for the Rays to move Archer outside a mammoth offer. His situation mirrors Adam Eaton’s with even more value. Tampa Bay is trying to compete in addition to earning community votes for a new stadium. Moving an affordable ace and fan favorite isn’t the best way to do either.
Archer rumors will persist for the next several seasons. For now, it’s hard to envision the Rays receiving a worthy proposal to put Archer in another uniform anytime soon.