Though it is early in the year, rumors are starting to swirl about potential deadline moves. If the Milwaukee Brewers are in a place to make the postseason, they will certainly be looking to add an arm or a bat.
During the offseason, Chris Archer was a favorite trade target among some writers at Reviewing the Brew, but that never panned out. The Tampa Bay Rays are one game under .500 right now, and eight games back in the AL East. They are in a tough division, which might cause them to sell Archer, and the Milwaukee Brewers will likely check in.
Archer is under contract for the next two years. There are then two options for the 2020 and 2021 season. After that, a 33 year old Archer will hit free agency. That kind of team control will only increase the cost of the pitcher.
Archer So Far
Things have not gone all too well for Archer thus far this season. He has thrown just under 60 innings in ten games with an ERA over five. His strikeout rate is down, and that is one reason for the slow start.
Even with those poor numbers, his xFIP is 3.93. That tells a very different story. Archer is not dominating, but he is not pitching as badly as his ERA might suggest. He is not doing anything different than he usually does. His slider and fastball both see use just above 40 percent. His changeup is being used a little more this year.
Could Archer Be A Trade Target?
The Rays don’t look like they will be in a place to compete for the postseason, so they might opt to sell. After losing two top pitching prospects to torn UCLs, plus Kevin Keirmaier out for significant time, they are facing struggles. In order for Archer to be a target, the Rays have to be selling.
Step two is getting the right deal. The Rays would obviously be looking for prospects, which the Milwaukee Brewers could oblige. However, it depends on who they ask. A deal that is headlined by a Luis Ortiz or Trent Grisham is easier to take than one with Corbin Burnes or Freddy Peralta. The price tag is a key aspect.
All in all, yes, Archer will likely be a target if he is on the market. He is under 30 with a ton of talent and several years of control. If David Stearns can stomach the price tag, Archer might wind up being in the Milwaukee Brewers rotation for the next few years.