Here’s the latest on some starters who may or may not be on the move at the deadline…
- The Rays have told teams that ace Chris Archer is unavailable in trade talks, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports (Twitter link), barring an offer that “overwhelms them.” It would be hard to see such a huge offer in the making given Archer’s disappointing 4.68 ERA over 117 1/3 innings this season. ERA indicators (4.35 FIP, 3.77 xFIP, 3.85 SIERA) hint that Archer has been a bit unlucky and could be primed to some improvement in the second half. The righty has had some batted-ball misfortune in the form of a .315 BABIP but the real outlier is Archer’s 17.4% home run rate, which is well north of his 11% career average. Archer has been scouted by the Dodgers and other teams as we approach the deadline, though it isn’t surprising that Tampa considers him virtually off-limits given that he is controlled through 2021 on a team-friendly contract.
- The Athletics asked the Red Sox for Anderson Espinoza in exchange for Rich Hill, according to Olney (Twitter links). When the Sox rejected that proposal, the A’s countered with another offer that didn’t involve Espinoza. Of course, Boston ended up dealing Espinoza to the Padres for Drew Pomeranz. Boston had scouts watching Hill’s start today, though we heard yesterday that the Sox weren’t keen on meeting Oakland’s obviously high asking price for the veteran southpaw. Hill is almost nine years older than Pomeranz and a free agent after the season, so it isn’t a surprise that the Sox were more willing to surrender their top pitching prospect for the controllable younger arm.
- If Eduardo Rodriguez is able to re-emerge as a legitimate rotation piece, it will impact not just the Red Sox pitching search but also possibly Clay Buchholz’s immediate future, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. Cafardo believes the Sox could trade or even designate Buchholz for assignment, though that would leave Boston with one fewer starting option (despite Buchholz’s struggles) for the questionable back of its staff.
- Jered Weaver has thrown consecutive quality starts and FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi suggests (Twitter links) that the Angels’ veteran could get some deadline attention as an innings-eater, if nothing else. Recent form aside, it’s been a tough season for Weaver, as today’s quality outing only bumped his season totals to a 5.02 ERA, 5.02 K/9 and 30.2% grounder rate over 107 2/3 innings. His fastball velocity has dropped to just 83.6 mph as Weaver has relied more on his changeup, curve and slider. Weaver is still owed roughly $7.2MM of salary in the last year of his contract, so even if a club was interested, the Halos would likely have to eat a big chunk of that money to facilitate a deal. There’s also the matter of Weaver’s full no-trade clause, as Morosi notes, though one would think he’d be willing to waive it to join a contender.