The Red Sox should take a look at free-agent starter Chris Archer
The two-time All Star would be a great asset with Chris Sale’s injury preventing him from being ready to open the season and James Paxton not expected to join the rotation until around midseason after being placed on the 60-day injured list, according to Red Sox beat reporter Ian Browne.
Archer could be a good option as a long reliever or fill in as a spot starter. With the recent signing of Trevor Story solidifying the Red Sox lineup, they now need to turn to bolstering their pitching.
The 33-year-old Archer has a career 13.1 WAR, 3.87 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 1370 strikeouts in 1254.1 innings pitched. That is not bad when taking into account most of those years he was pitching against the Sox and Yankees. He would bring his nine years of big league experience to a pitching staff that is in flux with their number 4 and 5 starters.
Currently, you are looking at Rich Hill and Garrett Whitlock vying for that last rotation spot and Archer would bring some more stability to the back end of the rotation. I would also take a hard look at starting Whitlock out in the pen and bringing him along as a starter later in the season. He still has a young arm and you are going to need it when it comes time for the playoff push. This situation would also help the argument to look closely at signing Archer. He would also be reunited with former Rays teammates, Hill and Wacha.
Back in his heyday, Archer was one of the most durable starting pitchers in the league when he pitched a league-high 34 games in both 2015 and 2017. All of those games were pitched when he was a member of Boston’s AL East foe, the Tampa Bay Rays. During that same stretch, he pitched over 200 innings in three straight years. That experience alone should make him an asset to Boston.
We know Chaim Bloom loves to go after these types of pitchers (Paxton, Hill, Wacha) to get them rejuvenated late in their careers. Archer would also come relatively cheap which is what Bloom has also been known to scavenger for over the past couple of years at the helm for the Red Sox. He is also familiar with Archer during his tenure with the Rays when he saw him strike out an average of 10.7 batters in 9 innings between 2015-2017.
If he can stay healthy this year, Archer could help provide some competition for that fourth or fifth position in the rotation. Bloom knows all too well that you can never have too much pitching.