Acquire Chris Archer
If you didn’t see this one coming, you must be new here. We have been clamoring for the Mariners to pursue Chris Archer since this summer, so of course, he found his way into this plan. But Archer is such an obvious fit, I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about this.
And before you start with the “why would a rebuilding team trade assets for a pitcher coming off a bad year” argument, you need to remember the last off-season. Because not only did the Mariners shock everybody and sign Yusei Kikuchi, they were also heavily involved in the Sonny Gray sweepstakes.
Gray, who only had one year left on his deal, was acquired by the Reds and nobody is questioning their decision after Gray put up a good season in Cincy and re-signed an extension last winter. But the reasons why the Mariners would be interested in Archer are the same reasons they were interested in Gray: a proven pitcher coming off a down year should be on every team’s radar, regardless of their current position.
This is especially true if the salary of the said pitcher isn’t outrageous. Archer’s contract situation is as team-friendly as it gets: consecutive team options worth $9 million in 2020 and $11 million in 2021.
Even if you think Archer is cooked, those contract figures shouldn’t stop you from investigating whether or not that’s true. Archer still missed bats in 2019. The stuff was still above-average. Where Archer faltered was with his command. He set a new career-high in BB/9 and surrendered the highest HR/FB ratio of his career. Archer just turned 31 in late September.
Now again, we land on the question of cost. And to be honest, we couldn’t find a deal we loved. The Pirates are going to ask for a premier prospect for Archer, which nobody will give them. But Archer is probably still worth a mid-level prospect or two.
For the Mariners, this means somebody in the Braden Bishop, Sam Carlson, Juan Then, Brandon Williamson, and Isaiah Campbell range. It’s also possible that Pittsburgh will try to salvage something from Archer, but with a new regime coming into focus and a possible rebuild underway, every Pirate with the exception of Josh Bell should be made available.
Our initial proposal is one that a lot of people will dislike, but we think closely resembles last winters Sonny Gray to the Reds trade.
You either hate it or you love it. It is either not enough or too much. Well congratulations, you’re correct. We can’t nail down a great trade package for Archer and make everybody happy. But hey, neither can you so bring on your hate.