The Rockies have spoken with the Rays about a trade that would send outfield help to Tampa in exchange for starting pitching, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Tampa Bay of course, has a pitching surplus to work with and the Rockies have been listening on their trio of outfielders. However, Rosenthal notes, the Rays already have Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza, Desmond Jennings, and Brandon Guyer in-house, so they’re more likely to seek prospects than major league-ready outfielders in exchange for their arms.
Carlos Gonzalez carries the highest asking price of the Rockies’ outfielders, but Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson are cheaper and have greater control rights. In particular, Dickerson has put up some huge offensive numbers and won’t even hit arbitration until next year. While he missed time last year with plantar fasciitis and fractured ribs, he still looks to be a highly intriguing asset. Gonzalez has two years and $34MM remaining on his contract. Blackmon, by comparison, is projected to earn just $4.5MM in his first of three arbitration seasons and is coming off a solid 2.1 WAR season (.287/.347/.450 slash).
The Rays are open to moving pitchers, but it doesn’t sound like we should expect to see a Chris Archer trade. Tampa Bay considers Archer “pretty close” to untouchable, according to major league sources who spoke with Rosenthal. The Rays are looking to win both now and in the future and it’s hard to envision that a trade of Archer could make them a stronger club in 2016. That probably won’t stop clubs from inquiring on Archer, however, who is signed to a club-friendly extension through 2019 with club options that can hold him through 2021.