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Christopher Crawford

Offseason Lowdown

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Lowdown: Targeting an Archer

Friday, February 2, 2018


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It’s been a dreadfully slow offseason for the majority of clubs, for a variety of reasons. Even big-market teams have been slow to make moves, with teams like the Dodgers and Red Sox unable or unwilling to pull the trigger this winter.


The Milwaukee Brewers have not been one of those teams who have beena asleep behind the wheel, and it sounds like there could be one more big move coming.


According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Brewers "have had recent contact" with the Rays about a potential Chris Archer trade, and Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Brewers have "been in contact" with Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb.


Let’s start with the Arrieta and Cobb news, because we’ve heard both names targeted by Milwaukee essentially since free agency began. Either hurler would be bring a tremendous upgrade to the Brewers’ rotation, to be certain. They also both are apparently looking for five-year contracts for over $100 million. Still, the Milwaukee brass has made it clear they have the budget to add another starting pitcher, so you have to consider them among the most legit contenders for their services.


The Archer news, however, is new, and potentially the most impactful. Tampa Bay has made no indications that the right-handed ace is available, but they haven’t exactly denounced the possibility of trading him, either. When he’s operating on all cylinders, he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball, as seen in his 734 strikeouts in the past three seasons. Not only does the 29-year-old have elite stuff, he also has an extremely team-friendly contract that will pay him just over $14 million over the next two years, with two affordable team options in 2019 and 2010.


So, the question becomes: What would it take to get Archer from Tampa Bay to MIlwaukee? Even after dealing away several upper-echelon prospects to get Christian Yelich from the Marlins, the Brewers still have plenty of quality prospects. They also have Domingo Santana, an outfielder who may not have a position to play for the Brewers, and could be a useful bat for the Tampa Bay rebuild. With Archer signed to such an affordable deal, they likely wouldn’t deal him without receiving $1.50 on the dollar. Whether or not they can receive that from the Brew Crew will depend on how they feel about prospects like Corbin Burnes, Corey Ray and Brandon Woodruff.


Whether they picked up Arrieta, Cobb or Archer, the Brewers rotation should be much stronger in 2018. If they’re able to acquire the latter, however, they have a legitimate top-of-the-rotation starter, and it would improve his fantasy prospectus substantially in the process.


Appel leaving baseball


Four-plus years after being taken with the first overall pick ahead of Kris Bryant, Jon Gray, Aaron Judge and several other quality players/prospects, Mark Appel is leaving baseball.


While not announcing his retirement, Appel announced he was taking an “infinite break” from the game; citing his interests in things that don’t involve baseball. The 26-year-old right-hander leaves the game with a 5.06 ERA in five minor league seasons for the Phillies and Astros. He’s battled health trouble throughout his career, and in turn, he’s seen his command and overall stuff wane since he was the top prospect from the 2012 MLB Draft.

 

It’s never good when you fail to hit on the top selection, but when you see some of the names the Astros passed on to select him -- even considering that they were able to deal him for closer Ken Giles -- it has to hurt a little bit more. Here’s to hoping he has more success in the business world than he was able to have on the mound.


Quick Hits: According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, "Eric Hosmer's camp has continued pushing for" a contract of more than seven years ... The Nationals signed C Miguel Montero to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He should be considered the favorite to backup Matt Wieters in 2018 … The Mets GM Sandy Alderson said Thursday that it is still unlikely the Mets will reunite with Bartolo Colon, even on a minor league deal … The Phillies signed INF Adam Rosales to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training … The Cubs signed OF Peter Bourjos to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training … The Pirates acquired LHP Josh Smoker from the Mets for LHP Daniel Zamora and cash considerations … Mookie Betts won his arbitration case against the Red Sox and will earn a $10.5 million salary in 2018.
















Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter @Crawford_MILB.
Email :Christopher Crawford



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