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Tampa Bay Rays Chris Archer Still in Houston Astros Sights

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The Houston Astros are still looking to upgrade their starting rotation and bring in another top of the rotation starter. Currently, their sights are set on Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer.

It has not been easy for the Houston Astros to land the top of the rotation starter they have been seeking. After watching Chris Sale head over to the Red Sox, they have been diligently attempting to acquire his former teammate, Jose Quintana. Then, they set their sights on Sonny Gray, only to be told “no.” And so, on to Plan C.

Quite frankly, if Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer is Plan C, then that is one damned good plan. While the Astros are still engaging the White Sox in talks for Quintana, the price for Archer may be considered far more palatable for their tastes. And with the Rays having already traded Drew Smyly, one can understand why the Astros would expect the selloff to continue.

Yet, the Rays actions do not indicate that such a selloff will be occurring. Mallex Smith may be a key part of what the Rays are building towards in the future, but the signings of Colby Rasmus and Wilson Ramos indicate that they are looking to contend this year. The Rays also had a surplus of starters, making Smyly somewhat expendable after his disappointing season.

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If that is indeed the goal, then the Rays need Archer to return to the form he had displayed previously. Even last season, for all that went wrong, Archer still had a few positives. Despite a deceptive 9-19 record, he posted a 3.81 FIP and a 1.242 WHiP, striking out 233 batters in 204.1 innings. His numbers were close to his career averages.

Those peripheral numbers make Archer a prime candidate to bounce back during the 2017 campaign. Should that happen, the Rays younger pitchers take a step forward, and the offense show more of a capacity to put runs on the board, then they could surprise a few teams this coming year. Of course, that is a lot of ifs, and a few things need to break the Rays way for this to happen.

Even if the Rays do not contend in 2017, hanging on to Archer could be a prudent move regardless. If he rediscovers his form, and the Rays have fallen out of contention by the trading deadline, Archer’s services could be in higher demand. That asking price could well go up, and the Rays could end up with quite the haul.

Next: Rays looking to fill offseason needs

The Houston Astros may be interested in Chris Archer, but it makes sense for the Tampa Bay Rays to keep him around. Of course, if Houston wants to sweeten the deal…..

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