Houston Astros Rumors: Why the team should be targeting Chris Archer

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 27: Chris Archer
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 27: Chris Archer /

The Houston Astros completed Day 1 of the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla. and as expected, they were connected to rumors in regard to their interest of making this team even better than last year’s.  What was the one that stood out the most?

It’s no secret that the Houston Astros want to increase their depth on the pitching front because of the tremendous amount of injuries the staff experienced back in the 2017 season.  It was so massive that I had concerns that the team wouldn’t be able to overcome it by the time the playoffs started but things fell into the place.

The Houston Astros are World Series champs so that’s what matters.  Dallas Keuchel looked largely regal out there while Lance McCullers Jr. proved as to why he can still be a valuable penchant in the team’s rotation for years to come.  The latter concerns me in regard to his health to no end but I think he’ll be fine.  He flourished in the reliever role in the playoffs and his spot starts were terrific.

But the concern lies to which of our pitchers is going to be able to go the distance.  The only men that have proven they can do it with their eyes closed is Justin Verlander and Keuchel.  It’s possible Collin McHugh can do so but he was brought in so late in the season, it was tough to tell how long his endurance would’ve lasted in a 162-game season.

But here’s a wrinkle.  According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, the Houston Astros do have notable interest in three top-line starters.  Those are: Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta and mutual intrigue in Chris Archer.  Will they get any of those guys?

It’s quite possible and I think out of those two, Archer should be the one the franchise should be pining for.  He’s currently gaining a ton of interest with about five teams in tow which include the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs, who’d like to have him return back to the team he started his career with.

The news dropped that Keuchel hired the powerful Scott Boras as his agent so he’s looking to get paid at the highest denominator.  With the Houston Astros likely being reluctant to commit to a long-term deal that will certainly be north of the triple-digits of millions, this team needs to start looking for his replacement as he hits free agency after next season.

It’s awesome that this team was able to win the World Series because the landscape is about the change with guys wanting to get paid.

But why Archer?

Although some of his stats didn’t necessarily blow one’s socks off last season, most of them did.  Archer has proven time and again that he’s a reliable starter that can strike guys out left and right.  He has wrapped up his third straight season where he has pitched 200+ innings or more plus his starts usually range in the 30+ per season.

It’s also notwithstanding that he is enjoying his 2nd season as an All-Star so his value is going to remain at an all-time high.  My best advice to you is although it’s important, don’t focus on that

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ERA.  His 2017 WHIP (1.259) and FIP (3.40) continue to be within the range of greatness meaning that the guy still has excellent command in situations that he can control.

His 11.1 K/9 in 2017, let alone his ability to stay in the double-digits with that stat in most of his career has me already drooling at the possibility that he could be on this team.  But the Astros will have to get in line because of the aforementioned teams that are currently targeting him as of right now.

We desperately need a durable top-of-the-rotation guy outside of Verlander and Archer fits the bill like a glove.  Although there will be more rumors out in regard to who the team is targeting, the team needs to stay locked in with Archer and try to win him over from the plethora of teams that have elongated interest.

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We’ll have to see how this shakes out but I’m excited and should be too that the team is going to get their man.

Archer, 29, posted a 10-12 record, 4.07 ERA and 249 strikeouts through 201.0 innings pitched in 34 starts for the Tampa Bay Rays last season.

Go Astros.