For several years now, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer has been in the middle of Trade-rumors that never end up actually transpiring. Archer (29) is in his seventh year in the Majors, all with Tampa Bay, and is a two-time All-Star. The Rays have not been to the postseason since 2013 but had managed competitive seasons in 2015 and 2017, winning 80 games both those years. Their near-.500 records have resulted in the Rays not fire-selling until this offseason. So far they have unloaded Evan Longoria, Denard Span, Alex Colome and Corey Dickerson.

All of this with Chris Archer still there.

It is clear the Rays are going full-rebuild this year and one would think this has to be the year Archer gets dealt. Every year there are contending teams looking to improve their rotation and Archer has been a seemingly good fit for the past few seasons. After gutting the roster, it would seem in the best interest of Tampa Bay to see what young assets they could get for the right-handed veteran.

Archer's current value

There are a few questions to ask, mainly what his current value is. He is under team control through 2021 and will not make more than $10 million until the final year of his contract at which time he will make $11 million with a team-option.

Cost-control is there, but what about performance? Currently, Archer sports a 4.29 ERA with a 1.304 WHIP, 3.89 FIP, 70 strikeouts and 24 walks in 71.1 innings. The lower FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) suggests his ERA is higher than it should be. The stats are not necessarily eye-popping but he's still striking out a lot of guys and a 3.89 FIP, while playing in the NL East, is solid.

There is still value there.

Archer is going to turn 30 in June, so if he is traded at the deadline in July, he will already pass the 30-mark. This is not saying that passing 30 is suddenly going to deprive him of all value, but the Rays really should move him while he is still relatively young. A team could get him for the second-half this year, plus potentially three more years with his final two seasons having team options.

Current possible suitors

It is still early in the season, but there are always contending teams to consider right off the bat. One team is the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. They had upgraded their lineup by adding Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich but they did not do much with their starting staff. They have young assets, and right now they would make a lot of sense considering an Archer deal.

Another team to look out for is the Los Angeles Dodgers. They have had so many injury problems with their pitching staff including DL stints for Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, and Kenta Maeda. If they can hover around contention while battling injuries, it is possible the Dodgers could give the Rays a call. No doubt suitors will keep coming as the season goes on.