The Los Angeles Dodgers have regularly been connected to Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer seemingly each non-waiver trade deadline and offseason since Andrew Friedman was named president of baseball operations.
Archer’s team-friendly salary and being under control through the 2021 season make him a prime target for Friedman, and particularly this season with the Dodgers looking to both improve their roster and remain under the $197 million luxury tax threshold.
Their trade with the Baltimore Orioles to acquire Manny Machado cut into some of the wiggle room the Dodgers have. Particularly with the Orioles not including any cash considerations, or the Dodgers not sending a player from their Major League roster.
Nonetheless, they remain involved in a potential trade for Archer, according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic:
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) July 31, 2018
The 29-year-old is earning $6.25 million this season, and is due to receive $7.5 million next season. Archer’s contract includes $8.25 million club options for 2020 and 2021.
While the Dodgers have reported interest, starting pitching is not necessarily an area of weakness. Ross Stripling was placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday due to toe inflammation, but the team otherwise boasts an excess number of starters.
Particularly with Hyun-Jin Ryu making his way toward a return from a strained groin. But if Friedman has proven anything with the Dodgers, it’s that he’s willing to upgrade the roster however he sees fit.
Archer is just 3-5 this season with a 4.31 ERA, 3.62 FIP and 1.39 WHIP, and hasn’t had a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015, but is still considered one of the game’s more talented pitchers.
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