Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays reach six‑year, $25.5 million deal with Chris Archer

ST. PETERSBURG — The money was staggering, Chris Archer admitted, much more than he could have ever imagined making playing baseball.

But what meant as much to Archer in agreeing to a long-term deal worth up to $43.75 million over eight years was the faith the Rays showed in investing in him.

"This is the first team I've ever really played for that really believed in me," Archer said.

Cut from his seventh-grade squad, told he wasn't good enough to play college ball, traded by the Indians and the Cubs before getting through the minors, Archer teared up while reflecting on his path that led to Wednesday's news conference at the Trop.

"For any kid out there who has been told that he can't do something," he said, "I'm living proof that you can."

The 25-year-old right-handed starter will be guaranteed $25.5 million over six seasons (assuming, as expected, he gains Super Two arbitration eligibility) and the Rays hold options, worth $9 million and $11 million, for his first two years of free-agent eligibility in 2020 and 2021.

The $25.5 million is believed to be the most money guaranteed to a player — who was not an international free agent — with less than one year of service time.

"Remarkable," Archer said.

Executive vice president Andrew Friedman said Archer met the "extensive checklist" the Rays have for making such an investment, such as talent, personality, character and attitude, specifically to use the security of the deal to relax and play better rather than taking it easy.

"As much as we're betting on his talent, we're betting on who he is as well," Friedman said.

Archer's deal is similar, though a little richer, than the pact left-hander Matt Moore signed after 2011, giving the Rays control of two top young starters for at least six seasons, and at potentially below-market salaries.

Archer will get a $1 million signing bonus and $500,000 this year, plus future salaries of $1 million, $2.75 million, $4.75 million, $6.25 million and $7.5 million, with a $1.75 million buyout of his 2020 option.

The Rays approached Archer in spring training about a deal, negotiations concluding Saturday with a deadline for resolution before he started tonight.

Archer's consideration of the offer and its implications was thorough. In addition to weighing advice from his agent, financial adviser and other players who'd been in similar situations, he took note of the spate of injuries to other pitchers illustrative of how quickly a career can change.

"I took them as a sign," he said. "I really believe in divine synchronicities."

With greatness in his arm and kindness in his heart, Archer said he plans to make his parents — technically his maternal grandparents, who raised him — debt-free and expand his community and charitable efforts through his Archway Foundation. And, of course, to do his best for the Rays.

"There are few things in life that are guaranteed," Archer said. "The Rays guaranteed me six years for the amount we all know and in turn I'm going to guarantee to give them everything I possibly can on and off the field to represent this organization."

Marc Topkin can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

Pitching in

The Rays have the pieces of their rotation in place.

Pitcher Controlled through

LHP David Price 2015

Deal: $14M in '14, arb-eligible in 2015

RHP Alex Cobb 2017

Deal: $517K, arb-eligible '15-'17

LHP Matt Moore 2019

Deal: Five years, $14M through '16, three team options

RHP Chris Archer 2021

Deal Six years, $25.5M through '19, two team options

RHP Jeremy Hellickson 2016

Deal: $3.625M in '14, arb-eligible '15-'16

RHP Jake Odorizzi 2019

Deal: $503K in '14; arb-eligible '17-'19

Source: Times research

Rays reach six‑year, $25.5 million deal with Chris Archer 04/02/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 3, 2014 12:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  2. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Lightning confused by NHL's slashing crackdown

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — D Victor Hedman said the joke in the Lightning locker room before Friday's exhibition game was that the over/under on slashing penalties would be six.

    "It was the over again," Hedman quipped.

    Wing Ryan Callahan, left,  pursues the Predators’ Colton Sissons, being careful how he uses his stick given the crackdown on slashing in the preseason. “It’s hard to defend when you’re so used to doing something for so long and now it’s a penalty,” Callahan says.
  5. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.