One day, somebody is going to sign one of these (relatively) cheap deals for a young player and everyone will hate it. It will look bad from the start and only get worse as the years go on. The Manny Corpas Corollary, let’s call it.
This isn’t that deal. Chris Archer is pitcher with a bright future. Another triumph of the Rays “low and slow” development program, Archer made nearly 40 starts at AAA before the Rays called him up for good in 2013, when he started 23 times for Tampa Bay and pitched well, putting up a 3.07 ERA over 128 innings.
Archer deal with #Rays will cover 2014 to ’19. Options are for 2020 and ’21. Technically it is a new contract, not an extension.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 2, 2014
Chris Archer's $25.5M guarantee depends on arbitration class. If he's a Super 2 — very likely — he'd get the full $25.5M. If not, less.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 2, 2014
First 6 years of #Rays deal with Archer cover pre-arb and arb years; options cover first two free years of free agency
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 2, 2014
This is another affordable deal for the Rays, who risk little in inking the 25-year old through his arbitration years and into free agency, with the two option years potentially stretching the deal to eight years worth $46 million. It is similar to the Matt Moore contract they signed when the left-hander had all of nine big league innings to his name.
There is a lot to like about Chris Archer’s game, from his cerebral approach to his three-pitch arsenal. With fastball that sits around 94 miles per hour and a slider he can throw for strikes as well as swings and misses, Archer looks like the kind of pitcher who will continue to make strides and improve.
He might not become an ace or ever “replace” David Price at the top of the Rays rotation but Archer is a fine middle-of-the-rotation gamble for Tampa Bay, seeing as he’s already produced as such and now enters his “physical peak” of his mid-twenties. A gamble that both team and player stand to profit from.
One of these deals has to backfire at some point. AL East rivals and those resentful of the Rays efficient ways are probably need to look elsewhere as there is a lot to like in this agreement between Tampa Bay and Chris Archer.