Chris Archer’s status as the most persistent name in Cubs trade rumors may be about to take a hit. Then again, maybe it isn’t. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Ray have asked teams for final offers on the 29-year-old righty and could spend the remainder of the time before the deadline reviewing them. But as Topkin writes, they are “apparently still more into talk than action.”
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick wrote Monday that all of the Rays’ recent activity is “basically one big fact-gathering mission…for more extensive trade talks involving Archer this winter.” One baseball exec he spoke with felt that this is more of the same and that the Rays would need a proverbial king’s ransom to land Archer.
That’s good because two of the teams said to be pursuing him — the Brewers and Pirates — could move that much closer to the Cubs with such a big acquisition. Though neither is listed as one of the most active at this point — Topkin lists the Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Padres and Yankees — you can imagine the Brewers really getting hungry for that pitching move.
And it’s been their MO to land a big pitcher for a run, as they did with CC Sabathia and Zack Greinke in the past. Team leadership has changed since then, but the blueprints are still lying around in case GM David Stearns wants to use them.
Through all of this, the Padres have actually emerged as the most active in talks for Archer. That seems a little odd if you’re looking at just this year, but they feel they can be competitive over the next couple seasons. Such a move would probably be the next best thing to Archer staying put, at least from the Cubs’ perspective.
I’m perhaps not as high on him as many others seem to be, but on-his-game Chris Archer is one of the best in baseball. All things considered, that’s not a guy you want pitching against you in the division.