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Tampa Bay Rays: Erik Neander Wants Chris Archer for Long Term

By David Hill
Sep 4, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) during the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) during the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Now that Jose De Leon is on board, there is plenty of speculation as to who the Tampa Bay Rays will trade next. Although Chris Archer has been the source of a lot of speculation, if Erik Neander has his way, the Rays ace will not be going anywhere.

Now that the Tampa Bay Rays have acquired Jose De Leon, expectations are that one of their starting pitchers will be traded elsewhere. Throughout the offseason, rumors had been swirling about Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi, and this acquisition has done nothing to quiet those thoughts.

However, according to Rays general manager Erik Neander, at least one of those pitchers is not moving. During an interview on High Heat, he discussed Archer’s future, saying that he envisions the Rays ace as a key part of the ballclub, and the type of player they need to become competitive once again.

Of course, he did mention that the Rays will listen to the right offer, but it does speak volumes as to what the Rays think of Archer. Even with a down year last year, he has established himself as one of the better pitchers in the game, a true top of the rotation starter. As such, it is not a surprise that teams such as the Astros have been calling about his availability.

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Tampa Bay certainly has no reason to move Archer. He is under team control through 2021, provided that both team options are picked up. If so, over the next five seasons, Archer will only make a combined $39 Million. Considering the contracts that even middle of the rotation starters have been getting, he is quite the bargain.

While that price would likely lead to a tremendous return in the trade market, it also makes far more sense to keep him in town. The Rays need another face of the franchise to pair with Evan Longoria, and Archer would certainly fit that role. An excitable, charismatic being, it is no wonder why he has become a fan favorite.

Keeping Archer also can help with team morale. After Longoria’s statements regarding the trade of Logan Forsythe, it is clear that he wants the Rays to build a core around him. Archer, one of the top pitchers in the game, would be an essential part of that nucleus. With a couple of other smart extensions, the Rays could find themselves in a position to contend in a couple of years.

Next: Rays options at second base

The Tampa Bay Rays are considering Chris Archer to be a key part moving forward. With his production and reasonable contract, there is no reason to move him.

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