Chris Archer, Rays finalize $25.5-million deal

Chris Archer, Rays finalize $25.5-million deal
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer warms up pitch before the second inning of an exhibition baseball game last month. (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

Chris Archer has done all right for a guy who was cut from his seventh grade team and once told by a coach he would never be good enough to pitch in college, let alone the major leagues.

On Wednesday, the 25-year-old right-hander and the Tampa Bay Rays finalized a $25.5-million, six-year contract.


"Not making teams, being told I was never going to play college baseball, getting traded twice, and now I'm sitting here in this seat where not many people ever get," Archer said.

The contract includes club options for 2020 and 2021 that could raise the value to $43.75 million.

Archer had a 9-7 record and a 3.22 earned-run average in 23 starts as a rookie in 2013. He's scheduled to make his first start this season Thursday against Toronto.

"It's a contract, and its guaranteed money, but I think it's just the beginning of six or eight great years," Archer said.

Archer was obtained from the Chicago Cubs as part of an eight-player trade that sent Matt Garza to Chicago in 2011. The new deal replaces a one-year contract agreed to in February that called for Archer to be paid $511,200 in the major leagues and $214,222 in the minors.

Yu Darvish to start for Rangers on Sunday

The Texas Rangers said that ace Yu Darvish is set to make his first start of the season Sunday at Tampa Bay.

Manager Ron Washington said Darvish is as strong as he was before the neck stiffness that kept the right-hander from throwing for two weeks. Darvish was put on the disabled list to start the season, but the move was retroactive to March 21, making him eligible to be activated this weekend.

Darvish was the American League Cy Young Award runner-up last season, when he led the major leagues with 277 strikeouts.

Reds' Jonathan Broxton could be activated next week

Cincinnati Reds Manager Bryan Price said that reliever Jonathan Broxton could be ready to come off the disabled list next week and move into the closer role until Aroldis Chapman returns.

The Reds haven't designated a closer while Chapman recovers from a head injury. He had a plate inserted in his forehead after he was hit by a line drive during a spring-training game. He's expected back in May.

Broxton is recovering from surgery last year on his pitching forearm.

Phillies' Jimmy Rollins returns home for birth of child


Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins has returned to Philadelphia to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

Rollins played in the first two games but left before the series finale at Texas.

Manager Ryne Sandberg said he's not sure how long Rollins will be out.

Rollins was not immediately put on the paternity list. The Phillies have a day off Thursday before playing the Cubs at Chicago on Friday.

In Monday's season opener, Rollins matched Cal Ripken's major league record with his 14th consecutive opening-day start at shortstop for the same franchise. Rollins hit a grand slam, his 200th home run.