Should Dodgers sign Chris Archer as a reclamation project?
The Dodgers could be a good landing spot for Chris Archer.
Everyone’s talking about the big guns. Trevor Bauer. Blake Snell. Brad Hand. The Los Angeles Dodgers do need some help on their pitching staff and have the luxury of spending more than most teams (or, well, every team), but that may not be the answer this offseason.
The defending world champs are in a great spot. They have to address a couple of roster vacancies, but even without doing that they’re still among the favorites to get back to the Fall Classic. And if the Dodgers don’t want to spend to fill these voids, perhaps some cost-effective options can pique Andrew Friedman’s interest.
How about Chris Archer, who Friedman acquired in a trade with the Chicago Cubs when he was general manager of the Tampa Bay Rays?
And what do you know … after Friedman took over as the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, he tried to land Archer in a trade (reportedly twice in 2016 and 2018) with the Rays before Tampa ultimately dealt him to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
There’s been almost zero chatter surrounding the right-hander this offseason after the Pirates rejected his team option for 2021. Archer had a dreadful 2019 and then missed all of 2020 due to thoracic outlet surgery, which is among the hardest procedures to come back from as a pitcher. Most teams won’t want to take the risk because it’ll cost them money and hardly any results.
But most teams aren’t the Dodgers. Los Angeles can sink in a few million to invest in a reclamation project like Archer, who was a former ace. He’s only 32 years old, so if he can somewhat rediscover his form, he’d be a huge asset on the Dodgers stacked pitching staff. Pitching behind Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, David Price, Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin (however they’re all deployed) will only take the pressure off the right-hander.
Then again, we’re not sure what’s been going on with Archer since 2016. He hasn’t had an ERA below 4.00 since then, so it’s quite possible the Rays moved on from him because they saw the warning signs.
For the Dodgers, however, this wouldn’t be a move in an effort to save the rotation — it’d be one to potentially make it unstoppable if Archer can even get back on track to his 4.00 ERA self. That’s not a bad option to have in the back end of the rotation, as a spot starter in the event of injuries, or in the middle of the bullpen.
Just something to think about, Dodgers fans.