Dodgers: The perfect trade package to land Chris Archer

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 22: Chris Archer (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 22: Chris Archer (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Dodgers enter the MLB offseason with one overlapping need in mind: a dominant right-handed starting pitcher. Look no further than Chris Archer.

There very few realistic things to improve with a young 104-win team that was one win away from being world champions. This is the case for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who not only thrived last season but are free of any significant free agent losses this offseason.

The Dodgers biggest potential offseason loss will be reliever Brandon Morrow, who the Dodgers signed to a minor league deal prior to 2017. Morrow thrived in the bullpen in 2017 and was Dave Roberts’ favorite name to call in the postseason. Outside of Morrow — who already expressed his interest in staying in LA — the Dodgers could lose Andre Ethier, Curtis Granderson, Yu Darvish, Chase Utley and Tony Watson.

All of those guys are replaceable for the Dodgers and only one, Chase Utley, was a member of the roster all season. Ethier missed nearly the entire year again due to injury and Granderson, Watson and Darvish were all trade acquisitions.

That leaves one hole in the Dodgers lineup that is left behind by Yu Darvish — a viable right-handed pitching option behind Clayton Kershaw. LA has limited options in the free agency pool.

Resigning Darvish definitely is a possibility, but he significantly hurt his stock in the World Series. Darvish’s 21.60 ERA in the World Series arguably lost the World Series. Although he may be great in the regular season, the Dodgers need someone that thrives in big game scenarios.

Thus, the team may look at Jake Arrieta. Arrieta is not the same Jake Arrieta from 2015, but he is still great. At Dodger Stadium in Rick Honeycutt’s system, Arrieta can easily post a sub-3.00 ERA. Plus, his 3.08 career postseason ERA is huge for the Dodgers.

The problem with Arrieta very well could be his contract demands. Even the Cubs seemingly do not want to pay Arrieta’s contract demands. Although the Dodgers have freed up salary cap room, an egregious contract is not in the team’s best interests. Spotrac estimates Arrieta’s average annual salary to be $26 million.

Besides these two, the Dodgers have no other free agent options. Trading may be the only option, and if it is, the Dodgers must finally acquire Chris Archer.

Los Angeles has such a deep roster and farm system to pull from that they can finally afford the asking price for Archer. Before, trading for Archer was a huge question mark that could leave the future of the team in jeopardy. Now, the Dodgers have the depth and confidence to make the deal happen.

Tampa Bay is making out on a good trade package for Archer. Grandal is an established catcher that can slug 25+ home runs. Verdugo is the Dodgers top positioned player prospect that is already big league ready. Trevor Oaks has starting pitcher potential.

More from LA Sports Hub

Los Angeles can afford to part ways with all of these pieces. Grandal has seemingly lost his starting job to Austin Barnes as Barnes started all but two games in the postseason. Verdugo only joins the list of left-handed options to play left field. Both Joc Pederson and a returning Andrew Toles can fill that role for Los Angeles.

This may be the best trade package the Rays can get for Archer. His youth and stuff keep his trade stock high. However, if his numbers remain where they are in the future, the Rays could lose all trade value on Archer. Last season Archer owned a 4.07 ERA.

While that may not be easy on the eyes, Archer’s stuff certainly is electric and in a National League ballpark under a great pitching coach Archer can realize his potential. The 29-year-old could then form a partnership with 29-year-old Clayton Kershaw to deliver the best 1-2 punch in baseball.

Next: Cheap power hitting options for the Dodgers

The Dodgers have to do something to fill the hole in the starting rotation. LA has already proven to have the talent to win the World Series. Now, it is time to finally stop sitting on every prospect and make that push to become World Series Champions for the first time since 1988.