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Rays agree to a six-year contract with pitcher Chris Archer

Apr 2, 2014, 9:37 AM EDT

chris archer headshot getty Getty Images

Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rays have agreed to six-year contract with pitcher Chris Archer “in the range of” $25 million. The deal begins this season and goes through 2019, with club options for 2020 and 2021. Marc Topkin reports that the specific amount is $25.5 million. Jeff Passan reports that the two club options total around $20M. Thus, if both options are exercised, the total deal will be for eight years and about $45M.

Archer, 25, is entering his third big league season and his second full one. He’s 10-10 with a 3.47 ERA with 137 strikeouts and 51 walks in 158 innings. Of his 29 career games, 27 have come as a starter.

Assuming Archer even comes close to his potential and stays reasonably healthy this will be a bargain for the Rays.

  1. chill1184 - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Rays churn out pitchers like they were candy, got to respect how they do things.

    • paperlions - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      They used to…but their system is really thin right now in pretty much all aspects. They’ve had many years in a row of unproductive drafts, and some poor luck with injuries.

  2. raysfan1 - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Excellent! This locks him down through his first couple years of FA eligibility and what should be his peak seasons. As long as he stays healthy, this will prove to be a real bargain for the team.

    • thetoolsofignorance - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      Could not agree more. They get him cheap and he could be great. By the time he starts to decline he’ll get paid again by some other team. Even if he washes out over the next few seasons the deal is not so prohibitive that trading him to another team willing to assume some risk is unthinkable. There are some smart people running your team

    • 18thstreet - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      “Son of a bitch!” — me, hearing this news

      Well done, Rays. Well f’ing done. Man, this is a well-run franchise.

    • indaburg - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      I was very, very happy to hear this news. Definitely takes the sting out of last night’s critical game two of 162 loss. :-)

      Friedman and Co. know what they’re doing.

      • raysfan1 - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:16 PM

        Obviously, I don’t like last night’s loss, but Longoria’s dive and then throw from his knees to nail the runner at first still has me smiling today.

      • indaburg - Apr 2, 2014 at 5:35 PM

        Me too. What a play.

  3. Alex K - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    I liked having Matt Garza on the Cubs. That said, I would have liked having Chris Archer on the Cubs for a longer time more.

    • miguelcairo - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:25 AM


    • paperlions - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Consider what they got for trading Garza….still not a bad set of transactions for the Cubs.

      • Alex K - Apr 2, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        That’s true. It doesn’t change the fact that the Cubs gave up too much for Garza; it just makes it hurt less.

  4. bronco58lb - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Archer comes across as one of the most intelligent players in the game. His interviews are always a joy to listen to.

  5. yahmule - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Brilliant move by Tampa. Get ready for a huge breakout season from this young man. He spent the spring refining a change up to deal with LH batters and that was the final complement his plus fastball and plus slider needed. He’s a very cerebral young man, who understands what he needs to do to get better. I really think the sky is the limit. The only thing I want to see from him is a bit less emotion on the mound. I love his enthusiasm for the game, but he has to bring it down a little when he’s actually pitching.

  6. unclemosesgreen - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Chris Archer is easy to root for – seems like a good guy – entertaining as hell mound comportment. It’s a win-win.

  7. renaado - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Amazing.. Truly he deserves it.

  8. florida76 - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Nice deal, but any Ray who signs an extension does so with the knowledge they may have to move, and that growing uncertainty will impact future negotiations. Last night’s attendance was so embarrassing even the team locker room reporter was forced to bring it up.

    The local media is also bringing up 2014 as the World Series Title or bust year as I mentioned months ago. That’s why the Rays went all in this offseason. Falling short of a World Title will mean the inevitable payroll cuts, worse product, and attendance will plummet even more. Since the 2008 pennant didn’t result in an attendance surge, the Rays need something the Milwaukee Brewers have never experienced.

    Minus that in 2014 we will see the eventual death of the Tampa Bay Rays. A relocated Rays team even with the same nickname still means the Tampa Bay Rays are finished. Local politics aren’t making any headway on a new stadium, either.

    • raysfan1 - Apr 2, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      I’ll leave aside the issue of how likely the team is to move, other than to repeat their lease is through 2028 and will not be bought out. Don’t expect to see much stadium movement in FL or anywhere else for several more years.

      As for the “all in” to get to the WS, the Rays got the same extra roughly $20M this year as every other team, and they did not spend all of it. MLB revenues are at an all time high and still growing. The Rays’ owners are not losing money, and all poor-mouthing needs to be understood as political posturing.

      I think they eventually do get a better home, in central FL.

      • js20011041 - Apr 2, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        Orlando? I don’t think so. That won’t work for the same reason Las Vegas can’t support a team. All the tourism dollars and dispensable income is being spent on other things. In Vegas it’s casinos, in Orlando, it’s theme parks. If they ever move the park to Tampa, attendance will improve. I don’t think it will be great, at least not for a long while, but it will improve. Hillsborough County still has a lot of room to grow.

      • raysfan1 - Apr 2, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        I wasn’t being specific, but Tampa/Hillsborough county is considered central FL. Yes, I agree that Tampa is the most likely landing spot eventually.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        I am surprised that New Orleans does not have a team. I know it is not a wealthy city, but it seems like it should be able to support a baseball team. It is far enough away from Atlanta, Houston and Miami that it could develop its own fanbase. Let’s make this happen.

      • raysfan1 - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:55 AM

        New Orleans, like every other suggested expansion or relocation city, does not have a MLB-ready stadium. The New Orleans metro area is only the 46th largest in the US at 1.2M, and the population inside the city is less than 400K. Also, Houston would almost certainly object, claiming the city as part of their territory.

    • Reflex - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      Every single season we can rely on florida76 bemoaning the poor state of the Rays. For several years it was on about how ‘lucky’ the team was rather than really well run and that it was doomed to come to an end, now its about how they are in their last gasp in Tampa.

      I suppose someday florida76 will be correct, even a stuck clock is correct twice a day. But it won’t be because of any special skill prognosticating.

  9. felser - Apr 2, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Even though it is likely to be “below market value” and “a bargain for the team”, the young man just assured himself of being financially set for life, regardless of what happens to his pitching arm. Win/win in many ways.

    • raysfan1 - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      True enough, and I’m happy he realizes it.

  10. miguelcairo - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    I’ve never seen a guy pitch so well while looking like he couldn’t give a rats butt about anything. Good for him, it’s fun watching him pitch.

  11. yahmule - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    This article by Pat Jordan about Chris Archer is truly outstanding. I highly recommend it to everyone.

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