Whereas the likes of Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels and David Price were available at the trade deadline last season, this year’s crop of starting pitchers on the block lacks the same cache. Outside of Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer, starters on the market are largely second- and third-tier options.
As one of the clubs in search of pitching prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been linked to Archer, Arizona’s Shelby Miller, and others. Los Angeles reportedly inquired on Tampa Bay starting pitchers, which included scouting Archer.
One executive pegged the Dodgers’ odds at acquiring the right-hander at 70 percent, in part due to their deep collection of prospects. Los Angeles is said to be eyeing a marquee trade over a minor upgrade to their roster.
Completing a deal for Archer would certainly fit that description. However, it would also come at a significant cost, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation:
The Rays are not deeming right-hander Chris Archer “untouchable” in talks but would have to be very motivated to deal him and receive a massive return, according to a major-league source. At this point, a deal involving Archer appears unlikely barring a massive offer, according to multiple league sources.
Assuming Los Angeles is intent on keeping Julio Urias out of any trade, the organization has several pitching prospects behind him. Parting with some of their top-flight talent in the farm system would be a first for Andrew Friedman since he was hired by the Dodgers as president of baseball operations.
Of course, a trade for Archer differs from previous tantalizing options as the 27-year-old is under team control through the 2021 season. There’s also the matter of Friedman’s strong friendship with Rays president Matt Silverman.
A Tampa Bay official recently said Friedman’s former ties to the organization would have no bearing on a potential trade.