Reports yesterday indicated the Padres were checking around about a potential Chris Archer trade with the Rays, and MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi sheds a bit more light on those talks. San Diego is reportedly willing to move one or two of Francisco Mejia, Luis Urias, and Cal Quantrill in an Archer deal, though its top two prospects (Fernando Tatis Jr. and MacKenzie Gore) are not available. Even without Tatis or Gore on the table, dealing any of those other highly-touted prospects would be a major concession on San Diego’s part, and a big score for the Rays. Mejia was only just acquired by the Padres as the return for Brad Hand and Adam Cimber, so in my opinion, it could be that the team sees the young catcher as somewhat “found money” — put another way, the Padres would be essentially dealing Hand and Cimber for Archer, which is a deal the club would’ve happily made. Then again, the Padres are so deep in minor league talent that they can afford to move top names like Mejia, Urias, or Quantrill and still have one of the game’s better farm systems.
Scouts from the Padres and Diamondbacks (and, from outside the division, the Phillies and Cubs) watched Archer’s start last Sunday. A source tells Morosi that at least eight teams have recently been in touch with the Rays about Archer’s availability, and while there still isn’t clear sign Tampa is considering a trade, this deep interest is one of the reasons “a deal involving Archer is more likely now than at any point in recent memory,” Morosi writes.
Here’s more from around the NL West…
- There’s still no timetable for the Giants to welcome back righty Jeff Samardzija, though it’s not looking particularly promising. Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, via Twitter, the veteran hurler is “not returning anytime soon.” Rather, he’ll continue to rest his ailing shoulder before heading out for some amount of rehab work. This continues to be a lost season for the 33-year-old, who owns a 6.25 ERA in 44 2/3 innings
- Though Samardzija’s ongoing injury issue is one of several less-than-promising signs for the Giants, indications are that they aren’t interested in packing up and waiting for next year. GM Bobby Evans says in a chat with Joel Sherman of the New York Post that the front office is “bent toward helping our current club.” Though Evans expressed at least some willingness to consider moving bullpen pieces, such a move wouldn’t really serve the team’s interests, particularly after the Giants previously gave up young talent to shed salary. While the team is still within reasonable striking distance in the NL West, its place in the trade deadline picture remains unclear — though Evans did shut down any thought that the team would make a last-minute decision to make star lefty Madison Bumgarner available.
- The Dodgers sent scouts to watch pitchers on both the Marlins and Rays when the two Florida rivals faced off last weekend, the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer reports (Twitter link). L.A. could have interested in any number of relievers or perhaps even starting pitchers on either roster, given how many Miami and Tampa players have been cited in trade rumors. Interestingly, Spencer’s tweet was linked to a tweet from Michael J. Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, who said that the Marlins had scouts watching Yadier Alvarez’s most recent Double-A outing. A consensus top prospect headed into the 2017 season, Alvarez didn’t crack the preseason top-100 lists for Baseball America or MLB.com this year (though Baseball Prospectus still had him 41st) in the wake of an unimpressive season. Alvarez has continued to struggle in 2018, with a 5.85 ERA and 25 walks in 20 frames for Double-A Tulsa, though he’s still missing a lot of bats with his 100-mph fastball.