It looks like the Minnesota Twins have not been idle while they waited for Yu Darvish to decide where he wanted to play next season.
LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has reported that the Twins have reached out to the Tampa Bay Rays a couple of weeks ago to discuss a potential trade involving All-Star starting pitcher Chris Archer.
"One pitcher the Twins have targeted is Rays righthander Chris Archer, and the club made a trade offer as recently as two weeks ago, a source confirmed," Neal said in his report.
"If the Rays are willing to move Archer, the Twins likely will have to top other offers from across the majors. He will make $13.75 million over the next two years with club options for $9 million in 2020 and $11 million in '21. His affordability makes him desirable, and puts Tampa Bay in position to demand a lot in return," he added.
Archer was named to the American League (AL) All-Star team as a replacement last season. The right-hander went 10–12 with a 4.07 earned run average (ERA) and a 1.26 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) in 34 starts with the Rays, and he also had 249 strikeouts in 201 innings pitched.
According to Neal, the Rays reportedly wants Max Kepler as part of any package for Archer. The German outfielder is under club control for five more years.
Meanwhile, Neal has also reported that the Twins are also keeping an eye on free agent pitchers Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb. He said Jaime García and Chris Tillman may be options as well since they attempt to fill out their starting rotation before spring training starts.
Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta is an interesting option, but Neal has noted that the Twins' chances of signing him are "remote."