Rumors abound, but Chris Archer is confident he won't be traded by the Rays anytime soon.
"I've talked to (GM) Erik (Neander) a lot and he's made me feel pretty good about being with the Rays in 2018," Archer said Wednesday after a workout at the Trop.
Archer has been the subject of trade rumors and speculation throughout the off-season, especially with the Rays trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria and indicating they are looking to go with a young team this season and potentially taking a step back competitively. (And, also, that the Rays may trade other veterans before the start of the season.)
Archer said Neander has raved about the young talent when they have talked, and Archer – while badly wanting to win, and avoid a fifth straight losing season – accepts that he will provide leadership and serve as mentor in helping them.
"I don't want to have an expectation as far as the team goes because we're going to be young so there's going to be a learning curve," Archer said. "But I want to help these guys shorten their learning curve and be a better version of themselves."
Archer acknowledged that his status could be impacted depending on what teams sign the top free-agent starters, and if one comes back to the Rays willing to meet their high price for him, given that he is under control for four years at a modest $34-million. At various times this off-season, the Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs and Yankees have been among the teams rumored to have interest in Archer.
But, for now, he is fully expecting to report to Port Charlotte in a few weeks.