Chris Archer hasn’t been doing a lot of laughing this season. The 27-year-old has become one of the most widely-cited under-whelmers of 2016, sporting a 4.66 ERA at the start of the second half. His most recent start, which saw him give up 5 ER and 7 H in 6.0 IP to the Red Sox, was his fifth straight defeat, making his 2015 All-Star season seem all the further away.
But the Rays—despite being twenty games under .500 and filling the AL East’s last place slot—have had a reason to smile thanks to Archer anyway.s;
Asked #Rays official if team is receiving any offers for Archer that are worth considering. "They have some comedic value," he said.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 15, 2016
Beyond the Box Score took a look at Archer earlier this season and determined that hitters now know when to expect (and how to hit) his four-seamer; his slider isn’t always moving enough to avoid bats; and his sinker seems to have taken the year off.
But some teams can look at a struggling pitcher and see more than a guy cursing into his glove. Archer’s ceiling is high, as proven by his campaign last season in which he threw a career high 212 innings with a 3.23 ERA, 10.7 SO/9, and 3.82 SO/W. There wasn’t a lot in the numbers to explain why Archer would struggle this season, so he could be an adjustment or two away from hitting his targets (talk has been had on his plant foot).
Teams searching for starting pitching at the trade deadline need about as much as a whisper of confidence to go after a guy, and an ace trying to pull himself back from the brink on a last place team is exactly the type of player they’d just love to get for cheap(ish). But the Rays, apparently, aren’t buying what anyone’s selling just yet.
The Dodgers have been linked to Archer (who is under team control through 2021) recently, but according to Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe, their aggressive nose-twitching at the thought of acquiring the starter has been met by nothing by head-shaking in Tampa’s front office.
The Dodgers have been sniffing hard on Archer but have been rebuffed so far. Despite the fact that Archer has had a poor season, there are obvious ties with Andrew Friedman now in charge of the Dodgers’ front office... But right now the answer on Archer is no.