Reports suggest Chris Archer may be on his way to the New York Yankees. This is bad news for Milwaukee Brewers fans. Archer was one of few pitchers still available worthy of calling themselves an ace this off-season.
Archer has spent his career with the Tampa Bay Rays dominating his way through the American League East, one of the toughest divisions in baseball. After trading for Giancarlo Stanton earlier this winter, when I heard that the Yankees are the frontrunners to acquire Archer I wanted to cry. The Milwaukee Brewers reportedly showed interest in Archer this off-season, and he could have been a game changer for the rotation.
Archer averages 9.7 K/9, with a career best 11.1 in 2017, to go along with a 2.9 BB/9 over six seasons with the Rays. The thing that jumps out about him the most is that he averaged 34 starts and 220 strikeouts a season.
The Milwaukee Brewers adding Archer would have had the same feel as when they traded for Zach Greinke in the winter of 2010. However, with Archer heavily connected to the Yankees, GM David Stearns will have to explore other available options.
Available options for Milwaukee
Chase Anderson or Jimmy Nelson definitely have the potential to lead this pitching staff. However, to contend THIS season The Crew will need a consistent presence at the top of the rotation. The Milwaukee Brewers aren’t in need of just any starting pitcher right now. They need an ace, and IMO only one of those players remains available.
If Archer is indeed traded, only Toronto Blue Jays SP Marcus Stroman remains, unless you want to take your chances in free agency. For Milwaukee, it needs to be Stroman or bust, free agency has never been kind to this organization.
Why Milwaukee should trade for Stroman
Navigating the same tough AL East as Archer, Stroman has posted two consecutive seasons with over 200 innings pitched. However, home runs have been an issue for Stroman, pitching in Miller Park won’t help that. Nonetheless, he keeps the ball on the ground enough to show he would have success with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Stroman pitched 201 innings with a career high 33 starts in 2017, posting a good 7.3 K/9 and a solid 2.8 BB/9. Nelson is ahead of schedule in his rehab and Stroman would help this team toward the next playoff push.
The price will be high for the Milwaukee Brewers to acquire Stroman, but worth it. This would be a clear sign to the fan base of the direction for the 2018 season. With the Pittsburgh Pirates trading Gerrit Cole recently, this is a two team division.
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs are the frontrunners in the National League Central. Trading for Stroman would change the course of the 2018 season for The Crew. There is a Nelson sized hole at the top of the rotation and Stroman would fill it nicely for Milwaukee.
Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta would be nice additions as well. However, the only game changer here is Stroman and trading for him will put Milwaukee into contention. With Nelson coming back, the rotation will be the backbone for this team. Stroman would only solidify that.