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MLB trade rumors: Brewers recently checked in with Rays on Chris Archer

It’s reportedly not likely, but credit the Brewers for putting this inactive offseason on their back and providing content.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers have provided the bulk of the baseball news over the past week, and they’re reportedly not stopping at Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain, according to Ken Rosenthal.

Rosenthal reports that the very active Brewers have contacted the Rays about starting pitcher Chris Archer, who has been on the trading block since the beginning of time. Rosenthal notes that a deal is not likely due to the return package the Rays would want back for a controllable ace like Archer, and the Brewers may be reluctant to continue gutting their farm system by way of trades.

Archer has posted an ERA north of four in each of the past two seasons but continues to be a workhorse, throwing over 200 innings in 2017 for the third straight year. His FIP decreased from 3.81 to 3.40 in 2017, while also improving in K/9 and BB/9. At 29-years-old and signed through 2019, Archer would be a valuable piece to draw the Brewers closer to contending with the Cubs in the NL Central.

Finding the pieces to pull such a deal off will be the challenge for the Brewers, although they do have a surplus of outfielders, including Domingo Santana and his 30 home runs last season. The Rays could have a potential interest in bolstering their outfield currently led by Kevin Kiermaier. Still, it sounds like the Brewers would have to do better than that to grab a pitcher with Archer’s caliber.