The Chicago Cubs are interested in acquiring Chris Archer. Let’s save them the time: No.
It is understandable that any team with postseason aspirations would be interested in acquiring the best pitchers they could. The Chicago Cubs, as the defending World Series champions, are certainly in that group of teams that would be interested in a top of the rotation starter. Add in the struggles of their pitching staff this season, and an upgrade would make sense.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays have one of the better starters in the league in Chris Archer. He has had a solid start to the season, as his 5-4 record and 3.75 ERA do not tell the full story. Archer has posted a 2.87 FIP, showing that he should be better than his statistics indicate. Add in a career best 11.2 K/9 rate, with improved command, and we have a pitcher that any team would desire.
Given that production, it is not a surprise that the Cubs would be interested in acquiring Archer. In fact, it has been reported that the Cubs and Rays have had conversations in the past involving the Tampa Bay ace, with a package centering around Eloy Jimenez considered the starting point.
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Let’s dispel this notion with a single word: no. There is no reason for the Rays to trade Archer at this point. Not only are they staying in contention for the postseason, but Archer is locked in on a team friendly contract, with affordable team options that leave him under control through 2021. Archer may make a great deal of sense for the Cubs, but a trade has to make sense on both sides. And it simply does not make sense for the Rays to part with Archer at this point.
Yes, the Rays have a plethora of young pitchers ready to come to the majors. However, with the impending free agency of Alex Cobb, as well as the likelihood that Erasmo Ramirez will not remain in the rotation for the long term, those spots will open up. Trading Archer does not make sense just to give another top prospect a shot.
The Chicago Cubs can want Chris Archer all they want. Unless things dramatically change, he isn’t going anywhere for the time being.