As the offseason starts, teams who had disappointing 2016 seasons are looking to make some changes. The Tampa Bay Rays are one of the teams who were not expected to do as bad as they did. The Atlanta Braves will be moving into their new stadium next season and have been waiting for that to acquire more talent. Atlanta, who has the prospect power, has inquired about Rays' star pitcher Chris Archer, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Although Archer had a down 2016 with a 4.02 ERA and a 9-19 record, in 2015, Archer was a Cy Young candidate. In 2015, Archer had 252 strikeouts in 212 innings pitched. Even though he was 27 years old, this was his coming out party.
2016 was a year to forget for Tampa as a team. It may be because of this they are looking into options to trade other pitchers as well. The Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers have been linked in trade conversations regarding Tampa starting pitchers. The Rays are presumably building for the future as the Dodgers have a strong farm system.
Rays' pitchers that could be traded are Drew Smyly, Blake Snell and Alex Cobb. All three of these pitchers could be valuable assets to contenders in the next several years. Los Angeles is looking to contend next year, but all of these pitchers could be minor pieces to a Dodger playoff run.
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The future for Tampa all depends on how they maneuver this offseason. If they make the right amount of trades and get the proper return, the future could be bright. That said, if they butcher this offseason and let teams take advantage of their terrible 2016 campaign, 2017 and beyond could have a whole different look. The Rays are going to be one of the most talked about teams this offseason because of their talent. Watching the decisions they make with this talent will be intriguing.