Chris Archer Trade Rumors: Rays Talks 'Intensifying' as Deadline Approaches

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG, FL  JULY 22: Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Tropicana Field on July 22, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images)
Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images

With Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline just days away, the Tampa Bay Rays continue to field calls on starting pitcher Chris Archer.

According to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, trade talks involving the right-hander are "intensifying," and multiple teams are in the mix. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan reported the San Diego Padres have made progress in Archer talks, but they still believe the asking price is too steep.

Archer is having a subpar year, as he is 3-5 with a 4.31 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 17 starts. His strikeouts per nine innings (9.6) are down, and his walks per nine (2.9) are slightly up.Β 

The 29-year-old recently missed more than month due to anΒ abdominal strain.

However, his track record speaks for itself. Archer has a career 3.69 ERA, and he made the American League All-Star squad in two of the three seasons before 2018. Also, he finished fifth in Cy Young voting just three years ago.

Tampa Bay is in a good position regarding Archer. It's a weak starting pitching market, and he may be the top arm available. Not only that, but Archer is also under club control through the 2021 season, and his salary won't top $11 million in that span.

If he can bounce back, that's a bargain.

Archer has playoff experience, albeit limited. He had two postseason relief appearances in 2013, allowing just one hit and striking out two in 1.2 shutout innings.

The Rays (53-51) are 8.5 games back in the AL wild-card race, so they could concede and continue to build for the future. On the other hand, Archer himself can be a building block, as he is under contract for a reasonable price for the next three seasons.Β 

In other words, Tampa Bay should only deal him if an offer blows it away.