Chris Archer Trade Scenario

In doing some research, I was reminded of two trades the Cardinals made this year that did not include Ozuna.  In 2014/2015, the Cardinals had two solid OF prospects that they were very high on…Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty.  This year they were traded to Toronto and Oakland respectively.  In the trade to Toronto, Grichuk netted them a very good RH middle reliever, Dominic Leone.  In 70.1 IP in Toronto, he went 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.  He had 81 K’s and 23 BB’s in those 70.1 IP.  They also received RHP prospect, Conner Greene who is now #23 in a good Cardinals system.


For Piscotty, the Cardinals netted super utility prospect, Yairo Munoz, and “scrappy” 2B Max Schrock.  They are #10 and #11 prospects in the Cardinals system, and both are very near.


While the return was good, the primary reason to make the trade was that Grichuk and Piscotty were blocking two very good OF prospects, Tyler O’Neill and Harrison Bader, prospects# 4 and 5 in the Cardinals system.  Bader should make the 25 man this year, and O’Neill is probably a year away.  The Cardinals have never been afraid to make trades as long as they got equal value and if they had a need.  In these two cases they got both.


The reason this interested me was because the Dodgers have a similar situation.  A couple of years back, Joc Pederson was that highly rated prospect who came up, but now may be blocking two other OF prospects who probably have a higher ceiling; Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo.  Joc is not going to be a regular and if they can net any kind of return similar to what the Cardinals got, they should consider it.  His value is not going to be better at the end of the year if he doesn’t play all that much.  His WS performance could convince some team that he would help them.


One such possibility is the Orioles.  They are very RH heavy in the OF.  Their OF depth is Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo, Joey Rickard, and Austin Hays, all RH hitters.  Mancini and Trumbo also serve as the DH.  In fact, Chris Davis is arguably the only LH hitter who will be on the 25 man.  Joc could play a lot with the O’s and could be a potential 40 HR guy in Camden.  With the exception of Boston, the other three teams in the AL East have a largely RH rotation.  It would open up the logjam in LF and give both Toles and Verdugo a legit shot at making the roster.


It is possible that the Dodgers could work out a deal with the O’s and Rays that would send Joc and Ryu to the Orioles for prospects the Rays would want, and the Dodgers could add in a couple of other not on theNO TRADElist to the Rays for Chris Archer.  I still believe that Archer’s true value is in his contract, not necessarily in his pitching.  He is a solid dependable innings eater who strikes out a lot of hitters, and balances out the rotation.  Make no mistake, I do not believe that Chris Archer is an Ace.  He is a mid rotation guy on the Dodgers, but he would be the most dependable starter they have.  The Dodgers would also save money in that scenario.  Chris Archer has a $4.25M AAV for the next two years, and has two option years at $8.25M.  That is 4 years control at a good value.  Ryu and Joc are $8.6M AAV.  That would put the Dodgers at more than $20M below the luxury tax, balance the starting rotation, and open up a logjam in LF where the loss would be minimal if any at all.  That would free up a lot of cash to go after whatever they need at the trade deadline.  I would think that the Dodgers could offer whatever the O’s traded for Joc and Ryu, plus two of Jordan Sheffield, Edwin Rios, Imani Abdullah, Gavin Lux, and Connor Wong.  If it needed to be three, then it would still work.  All five are in the Dodgers Top 25, and the Dodgers farm system is a top 5 system.  Because I truly like his potential, it would hurt me personally, but I would include Jeren Kendall in the equation.


One other scenario that FAZ likes to explore, is to go bargain hunting and uncovering that gem.  Justin Masterson and Jair Jurrjens were two such options last year, and neither were needed.  Brandon Beachy was a prior year consideration.  I still think if the Dodgers can sign Clay Buchholz and or Chris Tillman to minor league deals they would be worth pursuing.  Yes, I know they are easy to dismiss.  They are no longer top of the rotation pitchers, and a potential waste of money that will get the anti-FAZ crowd going nuts.  But maybe they catch lightning in a bottle again.  What’s the downside?


This article has 32 Comments

    1. Then you have zero reservations going with an unbalanced heavily dominated LH rotation in a very RH hitting dominant NL West? I will accept it, but it is not ideal. I have no doubt the Dodgers would ever do what I stated (and probably the Rays), but it is a way of thought that gets the team better balanced going into the season.

      1. that all depends on what Hill, Kershaw, Ryu, Wood numbers vs lefties and righties are.

        If all of our lefthanded pitchers are much worse against right handed hitters, then it’s an issue. If not, then nothing to see here.

        I also agree that this team is more than good enough to easily win the division again. So much like last year, when we needed Yu for the playoffs and not for the regular season, I don’t think we’ll make a move until July when we trade for someone who will be expected to help us in October, not in August (barring injury, of course)

      2. The lefty dominant pitching is the only reason I wanted to trade Ryu in a package for a righty. I think Ryu will have a good year but maybe run out of steam in September.
        I also like Buehler helping out no later than mid-season and I have always had confidence in Stewart. Like Greinke, he was a shortstop and he doesn’t have much wear on his arm and has had less time to develop his third and fourth pitches. By mid-season, based on how fast he moved up in the minors, he well could have mastered two more pitches.
        I do like Archer’s personality and would like to have it on the Dodgers. AC, we are not going to agree on who to trade for Archer and I doubt the Rays would agree with either of us.
        That said, I would like to bring back Greinke. I think Hill will have a good year for the Dodgers but to switch a lefty for a righty, I would include Hill in a trade for Greinke. That might help AZ more than the Dodgers though. What might really help AZ if they don’t sign Martinez is to include Kemp in a trade to AZ. Maybe Kemp and $10M a year plus Hill for Greinke. I will let the two GMs decide who the other players might be to make the deal work for both sides.

        1. (AC, we are not going to agree on who to trade for Archer and I doubt the Rays would agree with either of us.) Bums, you are right about that. I was looking for potential trade partners, and Baltimore has the most need for where the Dodgers have an excess. The O’s desperately need a LH hitting OF, and a pitcher. They want to win this year with Machado, Britton, Jones, and Brach all free agents next year. Joc is the LH hitter who can help them win this year, more than Toles or Verdugo. He could be a Chris Davis type power hitter in Camden. Nothing against Joc, it just seems logical. If the Dodgers get a RHSP, Ryu is a logical trade chit.

        2. I think Stewart’s issue last year, was partly because he wasn’t able to pitch in spring training, because he had soreness in his arm, at the beginning of the season, so he had a late start.

  1. I agree with you on Archer being only a mid-rotation pitcher, and picking up Archer and his remaining team friendly 4-year contract wouldn’t hurt the Dodgers, He would definitely give the Dodgers more innings then Ryu, and that would be his biggest value to the team. This will be Ryu’s second season after his injury and his last season with the Dodgers before his free agency, I think with Buehler almost ready and Urias maybe in August I think the Dodgers should let it play out and see what Ryu brings to the team this year, I think he will do very well.

    1. AC

      Another good idea!

      I was wondering if that trade the Cardinals made with Grichuk, was a good trade.

      Because I think Joc is pretty comparable to Grichuk, but I didn’t know much about the pitcher they traded for.

      And I was thinking the othe day, that the Cards may have stuck with Grichuk to long, because he has blocked Pham.

      And Grichuk has not lived up to his expectations, and Pham had a very good season last year, but Pham is already 29, so I think the Cards might have stuck with Grichuk to long.

      So sometimes it isn’t good to stick with one player to long, especially if you have other young players that are talented and hungry, that can help the team.

      I know it is hard to know how long to stick with a player, but on a team like the Dodgers, it is hard to stick with one player to long, when they have other young players, waiting to get their chance.

      I think Acher would be the perfect pitcher for our rotation, because he has proved himself, to be a workhorse, for the Ray’s rotation.

      And I think we need a workhorse for our rotation, more then anything else right now.

      Because Kershaw is getting older, and he has had injury issues, and Acher would not only be that workhorse, he would be the rightie that we need, in our rotation.

      AC is right, we do need another rightie in our rotation, because most of these teams in the National League West, have line ups of rightie hitters, to try to counter act, our predominate leftie rotation.

      And the Giants just added two new good rightie hitters, to their line up.

      And unlike Darvish, Archer is younger, and he has not had a TJ surgery.

      And Archer has thrown 200 innings, in the last three years, I believe.

      And I think everyone is right about the Ray’s, over valuing Archer too.

      And I think AC is right on, about Archer’s contract being the most value, that is attached to Archer.

  2. I don’t believe the team is looking for more starting pitching at this point and I don’t think they should go after Archer. As for RHP in the rotation Roberts has said they are stretching out Buehler, Stripling and Stewart and there is also Font and Koehler, depending on their roles. Font could be a middle man and spot starter right now, White, Ferguson and others are a year or two away. Koehler is probably slotted for the Morrow role and seems more steady than Baez or Fields. I believe they see what they have, how Maeda, Wood and Ryu hold up, how the kids do in AAA and how Urias recovers before making any moves. Same for the LF situation, they will see what they have before making any moves. Of course injuries can alter the best laid plans but it is nice to see the kids not being blocked by aging vets.

    1. I do not think they are desperately looking, but they are looking. Both Friedman and Zaidi have said they would like to find another RHSP. That is why they were in on Darvish. Many baseball journalists say FAZ is talking to Arrieta and Cobb, and talking to the Rays about Odorrizi. If they are talking about Odorizzi, they are talking about Archer as well. There are many teams in on the discussions with all of the above players, and perhaps the Dodgers’ interest is being used to drive up the price. We will never know how serious the discussions get.
      Buehler, Stripling, and Stewart will be starting in OKC. They will all get a start at some point in LA during the first half. Stripling has a chance to stay in LA if he wants to relieve. He still wants to start, so he will be in OKC. Font (if he is on the team) and Koehler will be in the pen.

  3. I enjoy reading the many different views on potential trades, some of which I agree and others that make me scratch my head. The front office does things differently. Who on here ever considered the Dodgers making the trade for Kemp? Most, if not all would have considered that trade a possibility. We will soon see how things work out.

    1. I think Mark and I both like to stir the pot. Some trade proposals are made to stir the pot and get more people talking. The more we talk, the more fun it is to come back here.

  4. I don’t get the fascination with Archer.

    4 of the 5 Dodger pitchers projected to be in the rotation spent time on the DL last year. Ryu’s arm is held together by paper clips. Hill is 38 and last year pitched the 2nd most innings that he has pitched in a season (only 133). Wood and Kershaw both have injury histories. The Dodgers need starting pitching “depth” (not guys on the DL who can’t pitch, like McCarthy or Kazmir but actual pitchers).

    I know that there is talk of stretching Stewart and Stripling out to start, but they can’t be stretched out as starters and pitch out of the pen at the same time, so they either won’t be ready to start, or they will start the season in AAA. Buehler didn’t look ready to me last year. Maybe sometime later this year, but not likely to start the season in the majors. Urias – may never come back. We have no idea what he will be like if he does return but not likely until August or September. (Hersheiser had the same procedure and was never the same, but he was one of the few who actually came back after having the surgery.) Font? Maybe. Who else?

    1. Rick,
      You wrote…”I don’t get the fascination with Archer.” And in the next line you wrote…”4 of the 5 Dodger pitchers projected to be in the rotation spent time on the DL last year.”
      Your second line is my fascination with Archer. Archer is dependable, and is a good strikeout pitcher. His last four years:
      2014 – 32 Starts – 194.2 IP – 173K
      2015 – 34 Starts – 212.0 IP – 252K
      2016 – 33 Starts – 201.1 IP – 233 K
      2017 – 34 Starts – 201.0 IP – 249 K
      How many starting pitchers have averaged more than 33 starts, 202 IP, and 227K per year over a four year period? Max Scherzer has more than 30 starts for the last nine years, 200+ IP for the last five years, and 200+ K last 6 years. He has also won 3 out of the last 5 CY Awards. Zack Greinke has done it three out of the last four years. Both of those pitchers are $200M+ pitchers. Archer will cost $30.25M for the next four years if both options are exercised. That is the cost for one year for those two. Jeff Samardzija has done it three years in a row, and he will cost $54M for the next three years. I do not have the time to research any others, but my guess is there are very few, and certainly no Dodger.
      As I said in my article, Archer is not an Ace. I would not want to trade for him in July because I am not certain he is a #2 playoff pitcher. I would trade for him before the season to balance the rotation, and then look for someone in July. I would have no problem pitching Kershaw, Hill, Archer, and unknown #2 RHSP in the playoffs, and moving Wood to the bullpen. To sign Archer, the Dodgers would undoubtedly need to trade Ryu. Ryu has an AAV of $6M vs. $4.25M for Archer.
      He is 29, dependable, inexpensive, and a very good person with a positive clubhouse presence. That’s my fascination.

  5. AC, you did a good job of describing my comments on the last thread. Thank you.
    For the record, I have gone back and forth with my thoughts on Puig. I enjoy watching anybody have fun, Puig has been fun. The Dodgers at this time don’t have anybody ready to replace Puig. I get that. I also get that Puig could have a monster year. If I say I worry that he will have back-to-back years where he doesn’t hit lefties, it is just that, a worry, not a condemnation. The Dodgers are strong against righties and need that same strength against lefties. Puig needs to lead the way against lefties. I do condemn Puig for his need to and tendency to play the outfield like Repko did. Its dangerous. Some want to turn that style of play against Joc. We won’t ever agree on that.
    I have said that I can’t get behind Grandal because, for me, he isn’t fun. Also, I like Joc as everybody knows, and since Mark over hyped Grandal and under hyped Joc, I countered. I have defended Joc but have not predicted great things for him. I cannot do for Joc what he doesn’t do for himself.
    The Dodgfers have great chemistry. Until a new player has played on the team for awhile, we will not know how well they will fit in except for guys that have a long history of being great clubhouse teammates like Forsythe and Utley. Arieta and Harvey have a reputation of not being good teammates. Weber used to fuss at his infielders. Harper had a shoving match with somebody and that somebody was probably at fault. Guerrero had his ear bit off.

    1. Bum

      I just hate when the personal stuff about Toles is brought up, because he was so young during that time period.

      And he was dealing with anxiety, and not being just a jerk.

      I only saw mostly that, and after that, I didn’t read everything thoroughly.

      Peace MJ!

      1. Toles story is not unlike Zack Greinke. He, too may be destined for greatness. He just might have to wait a year! I would like to see him play CF in OKC for a while. I also hate to say it, but I like Bums idea of moving him to 2B.

  6. Has anyone listened to the Effectively Wild Dodgers episode?
    McCullough is on and is great. He speaks about how the front office likes options (they call it optionality.) I don’t think they specifically mention Archer, but McCullough’s point on similar thoughts is? Is it worth giving up an asset for 1 or 2 wins? Isn’t that how much better Archer profiles than Ryu?
    And on the Lefty thing. Is the NL West really that RH dominant? I guess Arizona is with Pollack and Goldschmidt, but….

    1. The big hitters in the NL West are RH dominant:
      Colorado RH Hitters – Iannetta, Arenado, LeMahieu, Story, Desmond, & Mark Reynolds if re-signed to play 1B
      Colorado LH Hitters – McMahon, Blackmon, & Parra
      Giants RH Hitters – Posey, Longoria, McCutcheon, Pence, Jackson, Hernandez, Slater, & Hundley when Posey plays 1B – I do not know which OF will play other than Cutch and Pence so I listed the other 3.
      Giants LH Hitters – Belt, Crawford, Panik
      Diamondbacks RH Hitters – Goldschmidt, Ahmed, Pollock, Tomas, Owings, Drury, Mathis
      Diamondbacks LH Hitters – Avila, Lamb, Peralta, Descalso
      Diamondbacks SH Hitters – Marte
      Above, Bobby indicated that it depends on how well the Dodgers played against the NL West if it mattered RHSP vs LHSP:
      Last year the Dodgers were 8-11 against the DBacks, 9-10 vs Colorado, and 11-8 SF (most with MadBum on DL). He pitched against the Dodgers 2 times, when he is generally setup to pitch 6 times (at least 5). They were 28-29 against the top three NL West teams. That is 35.19% of the schedule.

  7. I like Chris Archer, but unless the Rays let the Dodgers steal him, I would not do the deal. Here’s why: While the Dodgers’ starters are 4/5 LH, the Lefties all have REVERSE SPLITS against RHP in 2017:

    Kershaw – RH: .213/LH: .248
    Hill- RH: .190/LH: .251
    Wood- RH: .213/LH: .228
    Ryu – RH: .240/LH .328
    Maeda – RH: .214/LH: .263

    So , even though the rotation in LH Heavy, what difference does it make if they get righties out better than lefties?

    1. I think you are right, the Rays are asking for too much for Archer. My issue is this: the team in the last 2 years has traded away Trevor Oaks, Chase DeJong, Scott Barlow, Jose DeLeon, AJ Alexy, Montas, Cotton and Holmes, all of whom are starting RHP. Now some may have too low of a ceiling and some may go to the pen but teams wanted them. The top pitching prospects per are: Buehler, Alvaraz, White, Sheffield, Santana, May, Abdullah, Marinan, Caleb Ferguson and Morgan Cooper. You know who the Rays are asking for! All but Ferguson are starting RHP. Sopko and Sborz are not in the top 30. Now some may be best suited for the pen, like Sheffield, Santana and Sborz. I believe Cooper could be special along with May plus the top 3. If they trade for Archer they block someone who could be on the verge of a breakout. I see his appeal as an innings eater and balancing the rotation but not at a kings ransom. I want to see what all these young pitchers can bring to the table.

      1. Vegas, not one of those pitchers that were traded would be considered for the Dodgers rotation. We also have Scott Alexander, Drew Jackson, Logan Forsythe, and Rich Hill still with the team resulting from those trades. Scott Barlow was a free agent and knew he was not going to come close to the Dodgers rotation with all of those ahead of him. He signed with KC where he has a chance to start. Scott Alexander should help the Dodgers more this year than Trevor Oaks would have. Logan Forsythe will help the Dodgers more this year than Jose De Leon. I would rather have Rich Hill than any of Montas, Cotton or Holmes.
        Per MLB Pipeline these are the ETA’s for the pitchers you mentioned:
        Buehler 2017/2018
        Alvarez 2019
        White 2019
        Santana 2019
        Sheffield 2019
        Abdullah 2019
        Ferguson 2020 (LHSP)
        Cooper 2020
        May 2020
        Marinan 2021
        These do not take into consideration:
        Assuming that the Dodgers will re-sign Kershaw, that would leave 4 out of 5 starting pitchers in 2018 still with the team in 2019, with Buehler and Urias both candidates. In 2020, Hill and Wood would be potential FA. Wood would only be 29, and should be considered for an extension or to be re-signed in 2020. But for this exercise, let’s assume that both Hill and Wood move on creating two spots.
        2020 – Kershaw/Buehler/Urias/Maeda/ —White or Stripling or Stewart or Alvarez or Santana or May or Ferguson. That still leaves Sheffield, Abdullah, and Cooper for consideration. And then Marinan for 2021.
        This also does not take into account any potential 2018 drafted pitchers or any surprises still in rookie ball or the Dominican Summer League.
        The Dodgers have a lot of prospects, and not nearly enough available spots. If we do not trade any for immediate needs, they will be blocked just like Barlow and sign elsewhere with nothing in return. As it stands, Ryu will be leaving after this year with nothing in return. He will not be re-signed or be given a QO. I understand why some may not want Chris Archer. I can argue against him as well as I can argue for him. But he is an established dependable innings eater with a high strikeout rate, something none of the prospects have. But this is 2018, and if this is Kershaw’s final year, then I would not want to waste a golden opportunity. If not Archer, who?
        None of the Dodgers/Nats/Cubs have to worry about the playoffs. They just need to set themselves up for the playoffs. The Nationals will have Scherzer/Strasburg/Gio/Roark for the playoffs. The Nats will also be better without Dusty in the dugout. Cubs – Lester/Hendricks/Darvish/Quintana. That is also 4 starters. Right now, the Dodgers have Kershaw/Wood/Hill and ??? Kershaw did not pitch that much or well in his first two playoff years (2008-2009), so you cannot count on Buehler. They do not need a 4th lefty in the playoff rotation leaving out Urias. So who?
        Draw up the Untouchables and everyone else should be considered for help in 2018. Let’s win this thing this year. Right now, it looks like it will be the Dodgers prospects that block the Dodgers prospects.

        1. AC, I could respond to some of this with what I don’t agree with but why bother? You have already taken to task Bumsrap, Bluto, Dodger Rick and me twice on this thread and commented 6 times on your own post. Your positions are always well thought out and expressed so I will give you a pass. You think the Dodgers should trade for Archer, I think the Rays are asking for too much for the Dodgers to agree to a trade.

          1. I think AC could make an argument against Archer as well, but I believe argument for has a lot of merit. I am OK with or without him… in the right deal.

            Spring Training is like Christmas, Right AC?

  8. There was a report that the Dodgers were looking for starting pitching, after Darvish was signed.

    But I think it is probably one of those starters, with a high upside, and low risk.

  9. I’m like AC, I do not think the Dodgers were ever in on Darvish and if they wanted another starter, we wouldn’t know about it… unless it was another smokescreen!

    1. I don’t think FAZ would ask Yu to wait for them to trade Kemp. They might have told him that they would help him get a “more gooder” contract by saying they wanted him if they could free up payroll.

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