Washington Nationals: Chris Archer would be an ideal rotation upgrade
By Blake Finney
The Washington Nationals postseason hopes are fading fast. The underperforming rotation. could do with Chris Archer to help propel it to elite levels again.
The Washington Nationals rotation has been among the worst in baseball since the start of June. At the very least, they’re going to explore options, and one of those options could be Chris Archer.
Archer has slumped a little in recent years, after bursting onto the scenes early in his career. This year he’s 3-4 with a 4.29 ERA, but other numbers indicate he’s due to improve.
His FIP this year is just 3.79 and his BABIP sits at .333, which is way up from his career figure of .299. So his poor high-level numbers are due for some correction.
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Archer is also under team control through the 2021 season, at a reasonable price. And we’ve seen in the past, usually, when Mike Rizzo acquires talent, he goes and gets players who have multiple years of control.
For example, when Rizzo acquired Doug Fister, Adam Eaton, and Sean Doolittle by giving up highly rated prospects, he did so knowing he was getting several seasons of control over those players.
This becomes even more crucial when you bear in mind that Gio Gonzalez and Jeremy Hellickson are free agents after 2018. Securing the Tampa Bay Rays right-hander would give the Nats arguably the best 1-2-3 punch in all of baseball for the next season and a half.
However, whether a deal is actually feasible in the leadup to the MLB Trade Deadline is another matter. With so many years of control at an OK rate, the Rays could easily hold onto him, hoping for a rebound.
On the flipside of that argument, is that the Nationals would get the best value for Archer by trading for him right now. And even if they potentially overpay in relation to his current standards, they’ll be getting a potential ace if the best case scenario plays out.
If we were to work out a realistic prospect package for Chris Archer, it would likely have to start with either Carter Kieboom or Luis Garcia. Even then, there’d have to be several other respectable prospects in the deal too.
If the Nats were to include Kieboom, then they could make up the rest with some mid-tier prospects. Perhaps players such as Wil Crowe, Daniel Johnson, and Telmito Agustin.
But if the package were centered around Luis Garcia, who has just played in the MLB Futures Game, then the Nats would need to include a haul of high ranked prospects. Yasel Antuna, Seth Romero, Raudy Read and Jackson Tetreault.
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Chris Archer would be a huge addition for the Washington Nationals. Not only would it be great in the short-term, but in the long-term with some big free agents in the rotation too. Hopefully, a fair price can be agreed to bring Archer to D.C. this summer.