2. Chris Archer
2017 Season: 34 starts, 201 innings, 10-12 record, 4.07 ERA, 249 SO, 60 BB
The Tampa Bay Rays ace would be a welcomed addition to the Twins’ starting rotation. Through five seasons as a starter for the Rays, Archer has established himself as the ace of the staff. While he has a 51-63 record overall, that’s mostly been a result of the team around him as he boasts fantastic career numbers, including a 3.63 ERA, 1,044 strikeouts, and 967 innings pitched in 162 games.
Undoubtedly, the most intriguing part about Archer is that he has the kind of stuff that makes batters swing and miss. Over the last three seasons, he’s ranked in the top-three in strikeouts with a career-high 252 in 2015. Boasting a high 90s fastball, hard slider, and firm changeup, Archer isn’t afraid to challenge batters with his pitches, although that comes with consequences as well. Basically, when a batter does connect on one of his pitches, it can go a long way as he’s given up a total of 57 in the last two years. In addition, Archer has had issues controlling his pitches. In fact, he had a career-high 15 wild pitches in 2017.
More from Minnesota Twins
- Minnesota Twins bullpen will be their downfall
- Top 5 Minnesota Twins Pitching Prospects
- Jake Odorizzi’s emergence fueling Twins starting staff
- Former Minnesota Twins player David Ortiz shot
- Craig Kimbrel Alternatives for the Minnesota Twins
Nevertheless, the 29-year-old would still be the clear-cut ace of the Twins rotation. Simply put, his stuff is more dominant than Santana and more established than Berríos. He’s also able to handle a heavy workload. Since 2014, he’s made at least 32 starts in each season and has gone over 200 innings in the last three. Essentially, he’s the definition of a workhorse, something the Twins could definitely use.
While he’s had an ERA above 4.00 in the last two seasons, there’s no noticeable decline in any other statistical area to suggest he can’t get that ERA back down. Not to mention, ERA isn’t always a telling factor of a pitchers success.
Of course, Archer won’t come cheap either, but that’s the price you pay for a two-time All-Star pitcher. That being said, he’s also on a team friendly deal that pays him just over $30 million in the next four seasons. Compared to free agents Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta, who are likely to get over $100 million during that stretch, I’d much rather have Archer. Furthermore, he has a great chance to perform just as well, if not better, than the top free agents on the free agent market.