by Steve Carney
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (620 WDAE) - The Tampa Bay Rays have used the idea of guaranteed money to lock up young players through their arbitration eligibility for years. Carl Crawford, James Shields, Evan Longoria, and Matt Moore are just some of the players who have decided that the success of the team outweighed the potential for a titanic payday.
You can add Chris Archer to that list now as well.
Archer, who signed a six-year contract with a pair of club options Wednesday, said he was "completely honored" that the club wanted to make the same investment in him.
"I know that it is in their model, and it is something I had thought about before," the right-hander explained. "It's a contract and it's guaranteed money, but I think it's just the beginning of six to eight great years here in Tampa [Bay] with great people."
Archer credited his agent and the rest of his support group with educating him on the pros and cons of signing an extension that would prevent him from being eligible for salary arbitration and perhaps reaching free agency before his early 30s, but in the end it was about what he wanted.
"What I wanted was to be able to make my parents debt-free. I wanted to have some security so I can just go out there and pitch, have fun, and not have to worry about anything when it comes to the monetary aspect of baseball."
He admitted he has considered the alternative, to play out the remainder of the year he is under team control and try his luck in the free agent market
"I don't know if all the injuries -- with the head injuries, with the concussions, and the elbow injuries and some shoulder injuries that have happened as of late -- I don't know if they happened as a sign for me, but I took them as a sign for me," Archer said. "A sign of what's unknown."
"There are few things in life that are guaranteed, and the Rays have guaranteed me six years," he continued. "And in turn, I'm going to guarantee to give them every thing I possibly can both on and off the field to represent this organization."
Listen to the entire press conference below!