The Houston Astros are still desperately searching for an impact starting pitcher, and Chris Archer – were they able to get their hands on him – would undoubtedly fit that bill. Only problem is, they can’t seem to satisfy the Tampa Bay Rays‘ high price.
Houston has apparently been chasing Archer, and reportedly made Tampa Bay a large offer for his services that was summarily rejected, Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily reported during an appearance on MLB Network Wednesday.
The offer that was apparently shot down would have sent five young players, including three of the Astros’ top prospects, to Tampa Bay – and it still wasn’t enough to bring Archer to the Space City.
“(Astros GM Jeff) Luhnow went to Tampa, from what I’m told, and said, ‘Alright, this is what we’ll give you for Chris Archer,'” Gammons said. “‘We’ll give you (No. 2 prospect, outfielder Kyle Tucker), we’ll give you (Francis Martes, their top pitching prospect), we’ll give you David Paulino,’ who’s their second-best pitching prospect, ‘(and we’ll) give you two more prospects for Archer.’
“And Tampa Bay, which kinda surprised me, said, ‘Nope, we need more than that if we’re gonna trade Chris Archer.'”
This supposed offer is even larger than what the Chicago White Sox apparently asked the Astros for in talks about their star left-hander Jose Quintana. Chicago reportedly asked for both Martes and Tucker, as well as right-hander Joe Musgrove, who made his big-league debut this past season, and their request was reportedly turned down by Luhnow.
Gammons’ report would fall in line with earlier rumors suggesting the Rays are looking for a home-run return for Archer. A report in December suggested the Rays were demanding more for him than what Chris Sale netted the White Sox at the Winter Meetings.
The Astros have been searching for starting pitching to complement what will be a potent offense after going on a spending spree earlier in the winter. In Archer, they’d get a pitcher who struggled in 2016, but is still only a year removed from finishing fifth in Cy Young voting, and still has five years of team control remaining – seemingly a perfect fit for a team on the rise.
Besides the Astros, the Atlanta Braves have also been reported to be interested in the 29-year-old this winter.