Though the Twins lost out on top free agent starter Yu Darvish over the weekend (he signed with the Cubs), it appears they’ve already been working on a Plan B: Chris Archer. According to a report in the Star Tribune, the Twins made a formal trade offer for the Rays ace two weeks ago. Details of the offer are unknown, but it probably included Max Kepler. The Rays reportedly like him.
Obviously, though, landing a stud like Archer would take more than just Kepler. Archer, 29, is signed for the next four years at just $34 million, which is insanely cheap for a pitcher of his caliber. Last season he posted a 4.07 ERA and 3.35 xFIP over 201.0 inning pitched. His 4.6 fWAR in 2017 was the tenth highest of any starting pitcher in baseball.
It would likely take quite a bit to get the Rays to part with Archer — think Max Kepler plus two, three, or four other prospects. Heck, even that might be low-balling it. It’s highly unlikely the Twins are the only interested team, so they’d have to beat out whatever anyone else was offering too. Archer is better than any of the free agent starting pitchers left on the market, and the Twins could get stuck in a bidding war with other interested teams.
Or the Twins could just sign Alex Cobb. Or Lance Lynn. Or Jake Arrieta... oh, and by the way, pitchers and catchers report in like one day.
What would you be willing to give up to land Chris Archer?