Should the Padres Aggressively Pursue Chris Archer?

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Credit: Sporting News

As the San Diego Padres suffer through yet another year of mediocrity, reports of the team’s willingness to acquire Major League assets are beginning to surface.

According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, the Padres are “making a big push” for Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer. Although Rosenthal follows this claim up by saying a trade doesn’t seem likely, it is worth noting that the Padres have interest in a proven major league player who is under control long enough to help the team once their competitive window opens. With that being said, should the Padres pull the trigger on the soon-to-be 30 year-old.

Archer was once seen as a future ace after his first full season in the bigs back in 2013. A 3.22 ERA and 1.3 fWAR accompanied a league-average 19.2 percent strikeout rate to combine for a very solid rookie campaign. He would only improve from that point, posting strikeouts percentages at an above average rate while keeping his walks in check.

Despite solid peripheral numbers Archer has had some trouble limiting runs as of late, posting an ERA over four in 2016 and 2017 while also sporting a 4.30 through 16 starts in 2018. His career FIP of 3.44 makes him out to be a much better pitcher than what he’s shown the past few seasons, but he doesn’t look to be the surefire ace that he has shown he could be in the past.

Part of Archer’s allure lies in his very team-friendly contract. He is under control through 2021, being owed $7.5 mil in 2019 and $8.25 mil in 2020 and 2021. For a number two pitcher in a team’s rotation, this is a huge value deal dollar-wise. With that being said, the Rays might be pricing themselves out of a trade for their current franchise star.

Reports indicate the Rays are looking for a huge package that could leave the Padres very vulnerable if they give the Rays what they’re looking for. Prospects are only prospects and they are not guaranteed to find success in the big leagues, but with reports that Tampa Bay is looking for a return similar to Chris Sale’s prior to the 2017 season, the Padres should stay far away.

2019 was supposed to be the year that the Padres start contending but the team’s lackluster play in 2018 has seemingly pushed the window back another year. Dealing young talent for a good-not-great pitcher who would be wasted for one season seems irresponsible and the team should avoid making moves such as this until they have an established core in place. Fernando Tatis Jr., Luis Urias, and Mackenzie Gore would seemingly need to be on the table for the Rays to even talk to AJ Preller’s front office, which should discourage the team from pursuing Archer any further.

If somehow the front office is able to convince the Rays to consider a package centered around right handed pitching prospects Cal Quantrill and Michel Baez then the Padres should definitely pursue Archer, but that doesn’t seem very likely. Right now the team must continue to build from within and hold off on trading high-profile prospects until the product on the field has improved.

In conclusion, the team should avoid Archer unless his price drops. He is a very good player, but the team would be betting on his contributions in two to three years while also dealing players that could conceivably be ready when the team’s window of contention opens.

Chris Archer is a fine player, but he shouldn’t be the team’s top priority at present.

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Ryan Davis
Born and raised in Vista, Ryan has been a Padres fan since birth. Currently attending Palomar College, Ryan is trying his hand at expressing his passion for baseball through writing. There is no better life than the baseball life.

11 thoughts on “Should the Padres Aggressively Pursue Chris Archer?

  1. Chris Archer and Tyson Ross have very similar numbers this year. I believe the Yankees offered us a used pitching machine and a case of New Castle burgers for Ross. Why on earth would Archer have that much more value. Chris Archer has not been an Ace type pitcher since 2015.

  2. No, absolutely not. Urias and Gore need to be kept for the future. The Padres have been working on a plan and need to stick with it. These guys are not the answer to the need at the top of the pitching rotation. Maybe a FA or a move simular to what the Indians did to us in sneaking Kluber away from us. Stay away from this one!!!

  3. “San Diego is reportedly willing to move one or two of Francisco Mejia, Luis Urias, and Cal Quantrill in an Archer deal …” What?!

  4. Noooooooooooo! Just the fact that Preller is thinking about this is frightening. He needs to be fired before he does even more damage.

      1. Yes, “L” … “o” … “l” They have a great farm system (or they do for now) … and that is the “process” … and it is/was on track, BUT Preller is “damaging” it. Hosmer alone has/is causing great damage … in more ways than one. The Myers trade was even worse, and Preller damaged things even more by a foolish extension. Now they are stuck with 2 MASSIVELY overpaid, below average first basemen (the least important of all positions) who are taking up the lion’s share of their payroll for the next several years. Now he wants to trade some of their best prospects for an over-the-hill, on-the-decline, average-at-best pitcher? What ever damage that might cause the bigger concern is that he is making these kind of moves (e.g. Mitchell/Headley/Galvis) which reveal a profound inability to field a potent major league roster.

  5. I agree. Acquiring Archer at this time is not a credible idea. When the roster is filled with good young players, then we can deal prospects for players like Archer. If we’re close enough that Archer would matter, then we’re close to have kept Hand and Cimber.

    1. We don’t agree very often Tom, but in my opinion, you are spot on with your assessment. There will be better pitches available when the Padres neeed that last piece to contend.

      1. /\ THIS /\. 100 percent agree. Chris Paddack is Archer or Syndergaard and they don’t have to give up anything. 3B, clearing rosters spots , and sorting out the OF are far more pressing needs..

        1. I would package prospects 17-30 (which would be top 10 in more systems) ranked but nobody in our top 15 prospects

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