ST. PETERSBURG -- Major League Baseball's non-waiver Trade Deadline is fast approaching. After Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, the Rays will have a better idea about what the team will look like going forward.For now, the time passes slowly, and it can be unnerving for the players."It's a crazy time
ST. PETERSBURG -- Major League Baseball's non-waiver Trade Deadline is fast approaching. After Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, the Rays will have a better idea about what the team will look like going forward.
For now, the time passes slowly, and it can be unnerving for the players.
"It's a crazy time of year with all these moves being made," outfielder Kevin Kiermaier said. "For us, it wouldn't surprise me of two or three guys weren't here when we play Los Angeles on Tuesday.
"That's the world we live in here with the Rays and with how things have been going for us and what other teams in our division are doing. Makes you do certain things. So hopefully whatever happens, we get a nice little return for whatever and we can prepare for the future."
Tampa Bay made two deals last Wednesday, sending Nathan Eovaldi to the Red Sox and Matt Andriese to the D-backs. But it still holds one of the biggest assets in Chris Archer.
Archer is valued not only because of his electric stuff, but also because he can be controlled through 2021 for a reasonable amount (approximately $8 million per year average) when compared to other starters of equal ability. Not only does that make Archer attractive to other teams, it also makes the Rays reluctant to part with him. The organization has long maintained that the one situation in which it doesn't want to find itself in is going to market to buy pitching.
Given Tampa Bay's mindset, interested teams must be willing to approach the Rays with a quality package to acquire the right-hander. Otherwise, they will maintain business as usual with Archer in their rotation.
Archer has remained calm throughout the rumor season, having faced trade rumors in the past. He did allow that the one unsettling aspect of his situation comes in the fact that "it's out of my control."
After taking the loss on Friday night, in what could be his final Rays start, Archer said he had a lot of "curiosity" about his situation.
"This is a great clubhouse, and everybody in here has expressed the concern," Archer said. "I'm just like you guys. I'm going to find out 30 minutes before you guys find out, if anything happens. And if nothing happens, at 4:01, we're all going to know at the same time. ... It's hard to put energy into something that I literally have no control over."
Teams rumored to be interested in Archer include the Braves, Giants, Cardinals, Padres, Yankees, Dodgers and Cubs.
"The Dodgers and the Yankees, amazingly, are in the best position [to make a trade] in terms of prospects," a Major League scout said. "I've always liked Archer. He's still under club control, and not making a lot of money. I still think Archer's a hidden gem. He just needs a new place. He's too comfortable in Tampa."
Rays manager Kevin Cash said there were a lot of teams in a similar situation.
"I know there's a lot of players and one that everyone is going to talk about right now," Cash said. "And we're at the mercy of what the front office decides and the industry decides. Chris Archer has done some good things for us and he's proven that he can be a very good starting pitcher in the American League. And I know his season hasn't gone the way he wants, but you hate to lose a guy when there are a lot of things looking upward."
Cash said he liked the way the Rays were trending.
"And Chris, in theory, should be a big part of that," Cash said.
While Archer has been deemed the big prize on the Rays' roster, others could still be traded, such as catcher Wilson Ramos (who is on the disabled list with a left hamstring injury), shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and right-hander Sergio Romo.
Trade rumors and trades are "going to happen every July 31," Cash said. "And there's going to be speculation every year, and when there's not, that means you don't have many good players.
"I think right now we've put ourselves in a situation in the last couple of years where our players are being asked about. Hopefully, we're going to get to a point where we're asking about some players because we've put ourselves in a situation that we can get hot two months and get into the postseason."
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.