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Pirates trade rumors: Bucs scouting Chris Archer's start for Rays

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates, Red Sox and Nationals have "high-level scouts" on hand in Tampa tonight as Chris Archer starts against the Orioles, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.

A couple caveats are in order here.

1) Teams scout other teams all the time, for all kinds of reasons. You can tie yourself into knots trying to figure out why a team is scouting another club. It often doesn't mean much.

2) Just because someone from the Pirates is scouting Archer's start doesn't mean they're primarily interested in Archer. They might have their eyes on someone else from either the Rays or Orioles rosters.

In other words, take all this with a grain of salt. We do know that the Pirates want good starting pitching, though, and that the Rays have it on offer. Also starting for the Rays this series against the Orioles are Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi, and if I had to guess, I'd say the Pirates scout who's there today will watch those guys, too.

Moore and Odorizzi both appear likelier to go than Archer is. There isn't much reporting suggesting an Archer deal is a serious consideration for the Rays, and that makes sense -- he's under team control through 2021, is only 27, and appears likely to rebound from what's been somewhat of a down season in 2016. If I were the Rays, I wouldn't trade him unless I were blown away. Still, it isn't impossible, I guess, that the Pirates could enter a bid for Archer -- they haven't dealt for a player of Archer's caliber in recent history, although they apparently did make the Rays a serious offer for David Price two years ago.