Archer, Rays stay centered as rumors swirl

Archer, Rays stay centered as rumors swirl

OAKLAND -- Thursday proved to be Chris Archer's day to be front and center with regard to the trade rumor mill.

ESPN's Jayson Stark reported that the Dodgers were the favorite to acquire Archer via a trade before Major League Baseball's Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline. According to Stark, a source told him there's a "70 percent" chance Archer goes to the Dodgers.

Archer smiled about that prediction, asking reporters, "How do you even get that, is this a meterologist?"

The Rays signed Archer to an extension on April 2, 2014 for six years at $25.5 million with club options for 2020-21. He was asked if he would feel wronged if the Rays traded him after he signed the long-term deal.

"I definitely would like to stay here because I like the people that we have in our organization," Archer said. "But it's a part of the business. I wouldn't feel wronged, because with signing my deal, I knew this was a possibility and would eventually happen.

"I'm halfway through the guarantee. It's not really that surprising just looking at where we're at and how the Rays typically do things. But I do like the guys we have and if the core group of pitchers stay along with Longo and Logan Forsythe, we could have something special here."

Rumors concerning Rays players have swirled throughout the Major Leagues this trade season, primarily because the Rays are lower in the standings than they have been recent years. Prominent among the rumors are Archer and fellow starters Matt Moore, and Jake Odorizzi.

"It's almost entertaining to a point about who is going to be the next person to be out the door," Odorizzi said. "But so far, we're all here and hanging out."

Odorizzi's strong start

Steve Pearce has also been among the players rumored to be traded. Thursday afternoon when Tim Beckham was penciled in at first base, the idea that Pearce had been traded seemed to have become a reality. But he's just returning from a hamstring injury and came up a little tired after playing two days in a row in Colorado. Pearce said he hopes he's not traded in the coming days.

"I like this team a lot," Pearce said. "And I have fun every day when I come here. I feel like this team is good, really good. Man, we've been hit with injuries and bad luck all year, that if you had told me this would be our record at the middle of the year, I would have told you you were crazy. No way that our team is as bad as our record reflects."

Pearce's two-run homer

Rays manager Kevin Cash knows that the rumors aren't going to stop for now.

"We're going to have 10 days of dealing with this," Cash said. "...We can't let it become a distraction.

"To me [the rumors are] a credit to the quality of our pitchers and the quality of our players that people are asking about. But until something is done, there's not a ton to be commenting on."

Archer sounded like a wise man when he noted that he'd been traded twice in the past, and noted, "I know that at the end of the day, each organization is trying to do what's best for them. And if the Rays think that that's what's best for them, then that's what they think."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.