Right-handed veteran Chris Archer, as reported earlier on Monday, is a name the New York Yankees have expressed trade interest in.
A different day and a different name.
The #Yankees are among the clubs that have inquired on Chris Archer. But other teams are skeptical the #Rays will move Archer — period — much less to a division opponent when he's under contract at a reasonable price through 2021. That never helps the trade dynamic.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 23, 2018
Written earlier on Monday, I detailed Kevin Gausman as the next starting pitcher the Yankees had inquired about. Later in the day, news of the Yankees examining Tampa Bay Rays’ starter Chris Archer broke.
The New York Yankees are among other teams in on the 29-year old veteran. The skepticism of a deal for Archer to the Bronx is for good reason.
Chris Archer who is 3-4 with a 4.30 ERA this season is in a peculiar situation. Archer, who already pitches in the A.L. East, is under control until the 2021 season and is making $6.4 million this year. He is set to make $7.6 million 2019 and is owed $9 million in the 2020 season but has a team option and a $1.75 million buyout. He is also owed $11 million in 2021 which has a $250,000 buyout.
The main issue the Yankees face is he is controllable for virtually three season which makes trading for him difficult. The Rays will be asking for a little more from the Yankees compared to the other teams interested because of the fact he will most likely be pitching against his former team for the next three season if he were dealt to New York.
— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) July 23, 2018
For Archer’s standards, it has not been a season he’s been accustomed to. The Rays have once again gone into rebuild mode with the departing of long-time veteran Evan Longoria at the start of the season. Along the way, they have shipped off closing pitcher Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span as well.
Following his 13-strikeout outing versus the Miami Marlins on Sunday, his name became a hot commodity once again. He did, however, surrender three out of four earned runs early in the game but was able to settle down as his team walked it off with a Daniel Roberston gland slam later that day.
Since May 17, Chris Archer has shown his best stretch. He’s showcased a 2.41 ERA and 47 strikeouts in the seven starts he made since that May 17 mark. He’s given up just one home run in 37.1 innings pitched which make for a great recipe pitching in the ever so small Yankee Stadium.
His one downfall has been the decline in his strikeout rate. Aside from his 13K performance, he has not accumulated double-digit strikeouts any other time this season. His next highest total was eight, which came in back-to-back outings on April 3rd against the Yankees and April 9th versus the Chicago White Sox. His 9.2 K/9 this season is also below his career average of (9.7 K/9).
Regardless of how effective or ineffective he has been this season, as I wrote in my Kevin Gausman potential trade piece, it is just an above average arm the Yankees are in dire need of. Before Domingo German was sent down to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre last week, the Yankees were alone in this category:
Yankees are only team in MLB to have multiple pitchers with Starter ERA of at least 5.45 (min. 65 IP).
Sonny Gray 5.46 ERA
Domingo German 6.18 ERA
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) July 21, 2018
And that can’t be the case if this Bronx Bombers team wants to make a deep run in October.
For now, they must add an arm, at the expense of a prospect to help bolster their starting rotation. Most of the Bronx faithful may not want to give up a young talented prospect for a right-handed veteran but it is no longer a want as much as it is a need.
It’s just another name for the Yankees and their fans to debate over for now. With just about a week until the July 31st non-waiver MLB trade deadline, keep expecting to hear names being dropped each and every day leading up to it.
Brian Cashman is sure going to be one busy, busy man.