Dodgers reportedly front-runner for Archer

Dodgers reportedly front-runner for Archer

The Dodgers could be on the verge of landing an impact starting pitcher in advance of the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Los Angeles appears to be the front-runner to land coveted right-hander Chris Archer from the Rays, and it reportedly has a "70 percent" chance to acquire Archer, according to ESPN, which quoted an unnamed baseball executive on Thursday.

Trade rumors have swirled around Archer, but the Rays don't need to trade him. Archer, 27, is signed to a club-friendly contract, and the earliest he could become a free agent is after the 2019 season. His deal includes club options in '20 and '21. Archer is 5-13 with a 4.60 ERA in 21 starts for the Rays this year.

While a number of clubs have been linked to Archer, most notably the Rangers, the Dodgers appear to have the inside track because of the relationship between Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman, per ESPN. Friedman ran the Rays before joining the Dodgers' front office in 2014.

Still, the Dodgers do have the pieces to possibly entice the Rays. The Dodgers have a deep farm system, and they have a clear need for starting pitching. The club has four starters on the disabled list in Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Brett Anderson and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Kershaw and Ryu are out indefinitely, and Wood is sidelined for at least eight more weeks.

On Wednesday, ESPN reported that a rival executive told him the Dodgers are "big-game hunting" for impact players. MLB.com columnist Jon Paul Morosi has previously reported that the Dodgers and Rays have been in trade talks.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.