Yesterday the Tampa Bay Rays, bastions of Rebuilding The Right Way (not the Chicken-Sh*t Way That The Astros Are, apparently), signed 25-year old Chris Archer to a 6yr/$25.5m with two club options that could push the contract to 8yrs/$43.75m. Last year, Chris Archer was 9-7 with a 3.22 ERA/1.13 WHIP (23 starts - 128.2IP) and finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. His ERA+ was 118.
Marc Topkin said that the guaranteed money is "believed to be the most money guaranteed to a player - who was not an international free agent - with less than one year of service time." Craig Calcaterra wrote, "Assuming Archer even comes close to his potential and stays reasonably healthy this will be a bargain for the Rays."
A couple of days ago the Cleveland Indians signed 26-year old catcher Yan Gomes to a 6yr/$23m contract. In 2013 Gomes played in a career-high 88 games (322 PAs) with a .294/.345/.481 slash line. His OPS+ was 133.
Fox Sports' Joe Reedy wrote, "While the extension means the Tribe won't have to deal with Gomes in arbitration and takes out a couple years of free agency for Gomes, it's a win-win for both sides."
Now let's look back to George Springer. We all believe he's going to be a superstar. But at the risk of sounding like a Front Office homer (need somebody, Luhnow? Call me...), if Archer received the most guaranteed money to a player with less than a year of service time and the Rays and Indians are lauded for their contract prowess, why are the Astros getting slammed by Ken Rosenthal for offering Springer - who has spent a month at Triple-A - $23m over seven years?
This point has been beaten into the ground by plenty of Astros bloggers, but if Springer takes the deal, everyone is happy and the Astros are geniuses. With the Archer and Gomes deals, it's pretty clear the Astros were fair in their offer.