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Rays sign Archer to long-term deal

<p>The Tampa Bay Rays signed right- hander Chris Archer to a six-year, $25.5 million contract on Wednesday.</p>

St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Rays signed right- hander Chris Archer to a six-year, $25.5 million contract on Wednesday.

The deal includes team options for 2020 and 2021 that raises the total value to $43.75 million.

"When we make a long-term commitment to a player, we look not only at his talent but also his intangibles," said Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. "There's no question Chris has the talent to develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter, and he has the drive and character to realize that potential. We are very pleased to solidify his place as one of our core players for years to come."

Archer, 25, made his major league debut with the Rays in 2012 and became a fixture in the rotation last season, going 9-7 with a 3.22 earned run average and two shutouts in 23 starts. He recorded 101 strikeouts in 128 2/3 innings while finishing third in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting.

The Rays acquired Archer from the Chicago Cubs as part of the return in the Matt Garza trade on Jan. 8, 2011.

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