It is not secret that the Milwaukee Brewers are in the market for a reliable starting pitcher this offseason.
Fellow FanSided site Call To The Pen suggests that the Milwaukee Brewers could be a potential landing spot for Tampa Bay ace Chris Archer. That would be a great move for the Crew. But it will come at a price.
In a very accurate evaluation, writer Tim Boyle gives a list of three pitching prospects and two hitting prospects it may cost. The pitchers are Brandon Woodruff, Luis Ortiz, and Corbin Burnes. Lewis Brinson and Corey Ray are the bats. The pricing would be one or two of these five, more than likely among others.
Between the outfielders, Ray would probably be the one moved. Brinson is too close to being an every day player and reaching his potential. Whereas Ray is not living up to expectations in his brief one year career. Though that is subject to a turnaround.
The pitchers pose a more interesting option. Woodruff showed off his ability to compete at the MLB level in 2017. Burnes was named the minors player of the year for the Milwaukee Brewers. This leaves Ortiz, who MLB Pipeline ranks higher than the other two.
That is where negotiations come in from David Stearns. It would be hard to see any of these players go, but the return is well worth it. Archer is a true ace. He has shown flashes of being elite, though the last couple years were not that. But he is a competitor no doubt.
After several seasons of being a reliable mid three ERA guy, the last two years have not been his best work. Really the only difference is that he is allowing a lot more homers per nine innings. In fact, in 2017 Archer saw his career high strikeout per nine, and second lowest walks per nine. It was his .325 BABIP that was not good.
Without a doubt, Archer is worth going after. Milwaukee Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson could turn the Rays right hander into a true elite ace. Especially since he will be under contract until 2022.
The rest of Archer’s contract is very team friendly. He will make just over six million in 2018, and that will go up to seven and a half million in 2019. After that year there is a two year club option for just over eight million a season. It is an extremely good contract for the kind of player that signed it. He won’t hit free agency until he is 34, assuming the club option is picked up.
If the Rays decide to move Archer, I will be very surprised and a little upset if the Milwaukee Brewers are not in heavy pursuit. With the production he will provide, it is worth parting ways with a prospect or two from a very strong farm system.
There will be no better starting pitcher option this offseason. Archer could be an anchor and truly solidify the Brewer rotation. Assuming Woodruff is not dealt, then the rotation looks in good shape. Archer, Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, and Woodruff. That is a solid start. But, the Rays have to be willing to part with their top arm.