It remains unclear whether the Rays will move Chris Archer, but Jon Morosi of MLB.com writes that they and other teams have been “engaged in consistent trade talks” centering on the right-hander “in recent weeks.” Archer, a 29-year-old front-end starter who’s on one of baseball’s most appealing contracts (he’s controllable through 2021 for $34MM), has unsurprisingly drawn reported interest from a host of teams this offseason. Dealing Archer and his $6.25MM salary would help the Rays with their goal to cut payroll for 2018, but it would obviously make it all the more difficult for the team to compete in a division featuring Boston, New York and an active Toronto club.
More AL rumblings:
- If the Royals re-sign free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, they’ll give more serious consideration to trading left-hander Danny Duffy, closer Kelvin Herrera and right-hander Jason Hammel, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Bringing back Hosmer and keeping those players would ostensibly give the Royals a better chance to compete in 2018, though they’re reportedly in line to cut payroll and rebuild even if they do re-up him. Of Duffy, Herrera and Hammel, the former is the priciest – he’s owed $60MM through 2021, including $14MM this season – but also likely the player with the most trade value. Both Herrera and Hammel could become free agents in a year, depending in part on what happens with the latter’s $12MM mutual option for 2019. In the meantime, Herrera will earn $7.94MM this year, and Hammel will collect $9MM.
- The Twins still haven’t discussed a contract extension with Brian Dozier, and the star second baseman informed Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com that he’s “a little bit” surprised about that. The club is waiting on potential extensions until spring training draws closer, per Bollinger, though Dozier seems prepared to test the market in a year if Minnesota doesn’t make him a suitable offer by next winter. “I’ve had a lot of talks with a lot of guys about approaching free agency and how to handle it,” Dozier said. “I don’t want to get too caught up in it. But it is the writing on the wall and the elephant in the room.” Dozier, who will turn 31 in May, is slated to play the final season of a four-year, $20MM contract extension in 2018. That deal has been an absolute bargain for the Twins, who saw Dozier account for 14.2 fWAR/13.3 rWAR and bat .258/.335/.496 with 104 home runs over the first three years of the pact.
- Red Sox left-hander Brian Johnson has drawn trade interest this offseason, Cafardo reports. The hurler is out of minor league options, meaning the Red Sox could lose him to waivers if they don’t trade him and he doesn’t make their 25-man roster, Cafardo notes. Johnson, a first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2012 and a former top 100 prospect, has seen minimal big league action to this point (31 1/3 innings). The 27-year-old tossed 27 1/3 major league frames across five starts last season and did OK, notching a 4.33 ERA/4.90 FIP with 7.0 K/9 and 2.67 BB/9. Johnson fared better over 90 1/3 Triple-A innings (3.09 ERA/4.19 FIP, 6.97 K/9, 2.79 BB/9).