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Monday, June 18, 2018

Chris Archer calls on Rays to spend to improve team

Chris Archer

The Tampa Bay Rays have fallen off considerably since their successful run from 2008-2013 in which they won at least 90 games in all but one season. After consecutive fourth-place finishes in the AL East and a last-place finish this season, Chris Archer wants to see improvements.

Speaking on SiriusXM MLB Network Radio on Thursday, Archer said the Rays need to spend to improve.

“I think in order for us to be successful, we’ve got to spend more money,” Archer said.

“You look at the teams that were in contention this year and they were all around the $100-million payroll mark or more. And we’re in the $70 million payroll. So I think a couple added pieces, yeah, we’re going to have to spend a little bit of money. But a couple added pieces with the starting pitching that we have can change everything. We can get back to the winning franchise that we were.”

Archer says his comments stem from him being around in 2013 when the Rays last made the playoffs. He said that was fun, while losing as badly as the team has lately wears on you and is not fun.

Archer, who went 9-19 with a 4.02 ERA, says specifically that the team needs to stop talking about being at a competitive disadvantage money-wise when compared to other teams. He says that sort of talk permeates down to the players and can lead to a poisonous mindset.

Later in the day, Archer stressed to the Tampa Bay Times that he’s not calling on the Rays to make some big free agent splash, but to spend wisely.

“I’m not saying we have to sign somebody for $30 mil; I’m saying let’s find the piece that fits and spend the money on it,” he said. “We’re searching for these things, but a lot of them are right there in front of us. We have to be willing to stretch beyond what we’ve done here recently.”

Though some could interpret Archer’s remarks as coming from a disgruntled player hoping for a trade, the pitcher emphasized to the Times that he is not trying to get traded and intimated he has assurances the Rays will not move him.

While the Rays are unlikely to be open to spending more, they no doubt mirror Archer’s desire to put a better team on the field.

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