(CBS) As the Cubs continue to reside at .500 entering the start of a three-game series against the Padres on Monday night, they remain intent on adding pitching help this summer. It’s the starting rotation’s downfall this season, after all, that has largely contributed to their underachieving 34-34 record.
On that front, the Rays right-hander Chris Archer has long been considered a fit for the Cubs, who owned his rights in 2009 and 2010 before sending him to Tampa Bay in the Matt Garza trade. At 28, Archer is in his prime, he’s proved to be a consistent force in the tough American League East and he’s under control through 2021 on a team-friendly contract, owed just shy of $28 million from 2019 through 2021 after making $6.4 million this year.
So what would it take for the Cubs to acquire Archer this summer? It would largely revolve around 20-year-old outfielder Eloy Jimenez, who’s considered a top-10 or top-15 prospect in baseball, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan told Matt Spiegel and Danny Parkins on 670 The Score on Monday.
“They’ve had discussions with the Rays in the past about Chris Archer,” Passan said. “And I think he makes the most sense in terms of the Cubs’ MO of going for cost-controlled starting pitcher. But he’s going to cost you Eloy Jimenez. And that’s going to be the big question in Chicago over the next six weeks. Is it worth it to giving up Eloy Jimenez to make another run at it this year when you have a team that we’re well past the one-third of the season mark and they’re still a .500 team?
“I don’t think they’re going to trade Jimenez for a rental. But let’s remember, they paid mightily and handsomely for Aroldis Chapman last year. Like Gleyber Torres is going to be an All-Star shortstop. And you don’t grow those things on trees, man. They felt, though, that last year that they were in the position where if they got Aroldis Chapman, their chances of winning the World Series went up significantly. And it turned out they did win the World Series … He helped get them there.”
Jimenez is hitting .278 with seven homers, 22 RBIs and a .927 OPS in 28 games at advanced Class-A Myrtle Beach this season.
Listen to Passan’s full interview below.