Earlier in the year, it was uncertain that the Tampa Bay Rays would actually be shopping their fan-favorite right-hander. This week, word surfaced that they were “having consistent talks” with other teams about Archer, according to Jon Morosi. The Minnesota Twins and St. Louis Cardinals are said to be the top two teams interested in Archer, but I wouldn’t rule out the Dodgers’ interest in him, especially since the Los Angeles front office is known to work quietly.
Archer currently has two years left on his contract, with an option for two years more after that. That would appeal to the Dodgers, having that much time still left. The trade market this offseason has not been a huge one in terms of return, and with the Dodgers’ loaded farm system—four of their prospects being in the Top 100—it should be easy for them to make a trade that would stick to their mantra of building from within when at all possible and not signing huge free agents.
As far as Darvish is concerned, he was recently offered a five-year contract by an undisclosed team. As many as six teams are interested in signing him, with the Milwaukee Brewers rumored to be the latest team to jump into the sweepstakes. Other teams in the mix are the Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, and the Dodgers. Details are scarce on the contracts being offered, and it seems that Darvish may be waiting it out to see if any other teams offer contracts of their own.
Sarah touched on re-signing Yu at the beginning of the month. If Darvish decides to sign somewhere, or Archer is traded, it may finally get the train rolling on all of the other free agents that have yet to be signed. Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb are other big names still available. Depending on the price that Darvish signs for, they may be signing for less than they anticipated. A deal could be out there to have, and as usual the Dodgers have the luxury of waiting it out.
We should have some clarity soon, as pitchers and catchers report in about three weeks. I still expect the Dodgers to stand pat, but will not all be surprised if they negotiate some way to add a starter in a team friendly deal.
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