Chris Archer's new six-year extension with the Rays represents an indication that the league will continue its overall good health over the coming years, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. With plenty of money to keep both owners and players happy, Rosenthal opines that the coming expiration of the CBA (following the 2016 season) should not result in a work stoppage. Here are more notes on Archer's extension.
- Rosenthal also offers that players should, perhaps, be doing better. He takes a look at the agencies that have agreed to extensions like Archer's, noting that pre-arbitration deals with multiple options are almost exclusively the domain of small- or mid-level outfits. (SFX/Relativity was the only larger agency to enter such a deal since 2000, with five to its credit.) With smaller firms concerned about losing clients, the union as a whole must exercise diligence in avoiding a loss of bargaining power as against ownership.
- Archer's contract bears a strong resemblance to Jose Quintana's deal with the White Sox, Dave Cameron of Fangraphs writes. This isn't the first time two players have received very similar extensions — as MLBTR's Steve Adams noted this morning, Jason Kipnis' new deal mirrors Matt Carpenter's, which mirrors Andrew McCutchen's, which mirrors Jay Bruce's and Justin Upton's. Cameron also points out that the Archer extension reflects the reality of pitcher attrition — pre-free-agency extensions make sense for pitchers, even very promising pitchers, in part because their careers are so uncertain. Meanwhile, deals like Archer's are cheap enough that teams can absorb that risk.
- Archer is only the fourth player to whom the Rays have given a contract worth over $20MM total, R.J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus points out (subscription-only). Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena and Scott Kazmir are the others. Kazmir, of course, enjoyed a terrific comeback season with Cleveland in 2013, but Anderson writes that his case illustrates the pitfalls of signing a young pitcher like Archer long term.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.