It's February and a sizable portion of this offseason's free-agent class remains unsigned, so we'll take any "Hot" Stove action we can. On that front, we know the Brewers have , including Domingo Santana and Brett Phillips, from which they'd like to trade for starting pitching. Perhaps the Rays and Chris Archer would be a match? That appears to be the mindset of Brewers GM David Stearns.
Sources: #Brewers, casting wide net for SP, have had recent contact with #Rays on Archer. Deal would appear unlikely. TB might not view Santana or Phillips as enough of a centerpiece for a controllable ace. MIL might not want to cut deeper into its farm system after Yelich trade.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 1, 2018
So there's no match just yet, but the easy takeaway is the Brewers continue to aim high this offseason.
Archer, 29, is a two-time All Star. He's coming off a 10-12 season with a 4.07 ERA (101 ERA+), 3.40 FIP, 1.26 WHIP and 249 strikeouts in 201 innings. The run prevention isn't eye-popping, but moving from the AL East to NL Central would be a nice transition and the strikeout numbers are great. So is the durability, as Archer has topped 200 innings in each of the last three seasons and he worked 194 2/3 the previous year.
Given that Archer is set to make a touch over $14 million in the next two seasons combined before a $9 million club option in 2020 and $11 million club option in 2021, he's a very valuable rotation piece.
Point blank, they are dead serious about continuing to push toward the Cubs atop the NL Central.
In terms of the specific rumors, they are all items to keep in mind as we move forward. If the Brewers sign Darvish, that could signal that they'll trade Santana for lesser pitching depth. If they don't land a big free agent, maybe they'll accept a deal for Jake Odorizzi instead of Archer or look to include a big prospect -- maybe even going to power lefty Josh Hader -- in order to land Archer.
The Brewers won 86 games last season, missing the second wild card by one game and finishing six back in the NL Central.