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MLB trade rumors: Astros, Phillies interested in Rays' Chris Archer

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Houston and Philadelphia join 7 other teams looking at the young right-hander.

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros and Phillies are now looking into acquiring Rays starter Chris Archer, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

Houston and Philadelphia join a host of clubs — Braves, Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Nationals, Yankees and Twins — that Topkin says have “various degrees” of interest in the 29-year-old right-hander.

Archer has been one of the top young arms in the game since debuting for the Rays in 2012. He has posted a 3.63 ERA across 967 innings pitched (162 appearances, 160 starts). Archer has also logged over 190 innings in each of the last four seasons, been an All-Star in two of those seasons (2015 and 2017) and been voted in the top five in the AL Cy Young race once (2015).

More importantly, Archer has two years left on a contract that he had extended back in 2014. Archer is due only $13.75 million and has club options for 2020 at $9 million ($1.75 million buyout) and 2021 at $11 million ($250K buyout), respectively.

The Astros already have a stout rotation returning from its World Series championship team, as they have Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander, Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers. Adding Archer to this mix would put them over the top as the best in baseball.

As for the Phillies, they would love to have Archer in their rotation because, outside of Aaron Nola, they need a lot of work. However, the Phillies have made moves such as signing Carlos Santana, Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter, so acquiring Archer would accelerate their rebuild process even more.

However, the Rays will more than likely want to net a big return for Archer. After all, their farm system only has one starter ranked in MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100 (Brent Honeywell).