Chris Archer has been involved in trade rumors for multiple seasons now, but the Tampa Bay Rays have yet to be swayed by an offer. He’s been supplanted as the ace of the staff by Blake Snell, however, and could be more available than ever before for the Washington Nationals.
The right-hander is having a difficult season, going 3-4 with a 4.41 ERA in 14 starts this season. His less than dominant displays on the mound could make him even more expendable, despite the Rays having a winning record.
Archer is an intriguing option for the Nationals because he offers so much upside. With a change of scenery, he could return to putting up ace-like numbers like he was doing a few seasons ago. He would also seemingly benefit from a switch to the National League.
Because Archer is under team control through the 2021 season, it’s going to take a significant prospect return from the Nationals. If Wilson Ramos is included in the deal, top SS prospect Carter Kieboom might not be enough to get it done. The Nats would probably still need a couple more prospects from their top 10.
The Nats could also consider Archer’s rotation colleague Nathan Eovaldi, who is pitching well in a resurgent season coming back from major injuries.
Eovaldi is actually having a better year than Archer and is only signed through the rest of the year. But obviously, Archer’s upside and controllability make him more desirable overall.