Rays bet on pitcher Chris Archer, sign 25-year old to long term deal

Contract includes club options for 2020 and 2021

St. Petersburg - The Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a long-term contract with another of their young pitchers, agreeing to a $25.5 million, 6-year deal with right-hander Chris Archer.

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

The 25-year-old went 9-7 with a 3.22 ERA in 23 starts as a rookie last season. He was scheduled to make his first start of the season Thursday against Toronto. 

Matt Moore is on the mound tonight against Toronto following last night's 402 loss to the Blue Jays.

Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said Archer has the talent to "develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter," as well as the work ethic and character off the field to ensure the Rays are making a good investment.

Archer was obtained from the 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 make $511,200 in the major leagues and $214,222 in the minors.

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