Chris Archer, Starting Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays
We have definitely seen this story before. We as Twins bloggers and fans had lots of conversations about Chris Archer possibly coming to Minnesota all offseason. Instead, the Twins acquired another Rays starter in Jake Odorizzi to round out the starting rotation in 2018. While that trade still looks very good for the Twins, Odorizzi isn’t anywhere close to being the ace of an organization’s starting staff.
The hang up in an Archer trade this offseason was always whether or not the Rays were interested in trading Archer at all. As the Rays sit at 53-53 and third in the American League East and they look up at the dominant New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox they seem ready to possibly cash in on their ace. Right now the San Diego Padres appear to be the most aggressive in pursuing a deal for Archer, but it is a conversation the Twins should also be sticking their nose into.
It has not been a great season for Archer as he currently holds onto his highest ERA since his rookie season sitting at 4.31 on the season. At the same time, there is positivity in the fact that his FIP sits much lower at 3.62 and he owns a 2.9 BB/9 rate. What could be a cause for concern and potentially even the reason for Archer’s increased ERA is that his K/9 rate has dropped from 11.1 in 2017 to 9.6 this season.
There has always been concern that Archer wasn’t as dominant as he looked. He has also always had to pitch in the American League East against some very good offensive lineups. Since May 17th (with a DL stint in the middle), Archer hasn’t given up more than three runs in a game. A very positive sign that Archer could still be an ace after some rough outings to begin the season against teams like Boston, Philadelphia, and New York early put his ace status in question.