The Twins Should Open Wallet for Lynn/Cobb; NOT Farm System for Archer

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) gets a high five from Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) after the top of the fifth inning of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016., WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

When the Twins traded for Jake Odorizzi, indications were that Minnesota wasn’t done searching for another starting pitcher. As of Saturday morning, Falvey and Levine are like an eleven-person family, grocery shopping. They’re still exploring the market.


Since the steal-of-a-deal Odorizzi transaction, the options for our most plausible new hurler have remained the same. Despite being considered the top free agent starting arm still available, mentions of Minnesota’s interest in Jake Arrieta have been few and far between. When it comes to talks of signing a rotation-ready arm, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb have dominated that conversation.

However, the total combined mentions of those two free agents still doesn’t seem to get near the amount of discussion surrounding a potential trade for Chris Archer.

So, with those three horses (Lynn, Cobb, and Archer) leading the race, which is the best option?

If all things were equal, for multiple reasons, the answer to that question is Chris Archer. Unfortunately, someone who considers trading away, let’s just say… Max Kepler, Nick Gordon, and a/an additional prospect(s) is equivalent to the Pohlad’s signing a check, is embarrassingly bad at math.

In the above Tweet, Rhett Bollinger (Twins beat reporter for was replying to a fan who was inquiring about a hypothetical trade for Archer.

Let that sink in for a second. Going and getting the 29 year-old sounds terrific until you realize how much juice it would take to get the job done.

With that being said, trading for Chris Archer means acquiring his franchise friendly contract (2020 & 2021 (in red) represent club option years):

In regards to the perspective dollars per year Lynn and Cobb will command, that’s up in the air. It won’t be as expensive as the $20 million a year we offered Yu Darvish, but not as cheap as Archer’s deal.

Since we took a stab at Darvish, we’ve added $9 million to our 2018 payroll (Odorizzi and Anibal Sanchez). If they had 20 fat ones set aside for Yu and spent 9 of those smackers on the two mentioned pitchers, there has to be 11 still sitting somewhere (there’s SO MUCH f*cken more than that).

On top of that, a reminder that after this season, Joe Mauer and Ervin Santana’s contracts will be off the books.

The way I see it, rather than trading away the farm to acquire the highly coveted Archer, signing Lynn or Cobb is a much better option. In regards to which I think they should get, I don’t give a shit (reports indicate Minnesota prefers Lynn). Their career ERA’s are basically the same (3.38 for Lynn, 3.50 for Cobb). Additionally, each is 30 years-old with one Tommy John surgery under their belt.

As you can see from the comparison below, both the former St. Louis Cardinal (3.38 career ERA) and Cobb (3.50 career ERA) had better ERAs in 2017 than Chris Archer:

2017 Stat Comparison

  • Lance LynnRecord: 11-8, ERA: 3.43, IP: 186.1, WHIP: 1.229
  • Alex Cobb – Record: 12-10, ERA: 3.66, IP: 179.1, WHIP: 1.221
  • Chris Archer – Record: 10-12, ERA: 4.07, IP: 201.0, WHIP: 1.259

To close, keep in mind that there is a good chance none of these proverbial ponies reach the end destination that is a Minnesota Twins uniform.

In the event that occurs, the Paul Molitor managed ball-club may acquire a more off the radar option, or just begin the season with their current options. Like an actual day at the track, anything can happen.


Johnny Minnesota @TheJohnnyMN
Minnesota Sports Fan

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