Will the San Diego Padres acquire the Tampa Bay Rays ace?
EDITOR’S NOTE: HOURS AFTER PUBLISHING THIS, DENNIS LIN OF THE ATHLETIC HAS TWEETED THAT THE SAN DIEGO PADRES BELIEVE THEY ARE OUT OF THE CHRIS ARCHER SWEEPSTAKES, AS OF 6:00 PM ON MONDAY EVENING.
Last week, rumors resurfaced surrounding the idea of the San Diego Padres trading for Tampa Bay Rays ace starting pitcher, Chris Archer. With less than 24 hours remaining until the 2018 Major League Baseball trade deadline, the rumors haven’t seem to phase away.
Initially, the report was that the Padres would not trade away their elite prospects. Then, word came down that Fernando Tatis Jr.and MacKenzie Gore were the only “untouchable” pieces in a potential deal and that the Padres would consider moving “one or two” of their next top three ranked prospects for Archer (Luis Urias, Francisco Mejia, Cal Quantrill)
Then Padres fans nearly hit meltdown status when reports surfaced that the team was willing to include Luis Urias in a package to Tampa Bay (myself included).
Last week, I wrote that trading for Chris Archer should not be an option for the Padres this season. Due to his controllable contract (under $10 million/year through 2021) and the belief that he will have more success outside of the American League East and their home run friendly ballparks, Archer is going to fetch a high price, obviously. Since that piece, the rumors have only intensified.
Yes, the Padres need a proven front-line starting pitcher if they want to begin contending with the next two seasons. Yes, Chris Archer is thrown around every single trade deadline and nothing ever happens, so going after him in the offseason makes a lot more sense (is sure to be much cheaper). However, have you seen the list of potential free agent starting pitchers for this offseason? Outside of Patrick Corbin, the list is bleak and ugly, unless you think Matt Harvey or Francisco Liriano are the saviors of this franchise?
Let’s say Luis Urias is a part of this package. For clarity, I am fully on the “do not trade Urias train.” However, there’s always a serious possibility that this could happen. This could be an opportune time to highlight another prospect in our system, one that many evaluators are climbing higher and higher on, Esteury Ruiz.
Ruiz is still just 19 years old and outside of a high strikeout rate, is having a dominant season in full-season Fort Wayne. He won’t turn 20 until next spring training.
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Luis Urias is a prospect, scratch that, is a member of the Padres family, that a large portion of the fan base has come to love and admire. You have spent all these years waiting for the “elite prospects” to mature and reach the majors and now that the first big wave is reaching the shore, you want to ride that wave. Now, here comes AJ Preller and company, threatening to send Urias to Tampa Bay for a 29-year-old starting pitcher with largely unimpressive numbers.
The New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, and St. Louis Cardinals have all been reported as interested or in talks with Tampa Bay for the services of Chris Archer. Jim Bowden of The Athletic has said that the Padres have an offer on the table for Archer. All we as fans can do is speculate, debate, and wait to see what finally happens.
Hopefully, Luis Urias is still a member of the San Diego Padres on July 31st after the deadline and is up in the major leagues, playing second base at Petco Park, in the next few weeks. However, just prepare yourself for that coming to fruition. Let’s hope this devil’s advocate train of thought is all for nothing.