Chris Archer may be the most expensive option for the Cubs’ future rotation. He will not be expensive in terms of money, but rather in terms of what the Cubs would have to give up to acquire the 28-year-old.
The asking price for Archer would be steep because of his stellar play from 2013-2015. During that stretch, Archer made 89 starts and posted a 3.26 ERA. In addition to his great ERA, Archer struck out 526 batters in 535 1/3 innings pitched. That equates to 8.8 batters per nine innings.
While Archer excelled during those three seasons, he came back down to earth in 2016. In 33 starts, Archer went 9-19 with a 4.02 ERA and 233 strikeouts in 201 1/3 innings pitched. Due to that less than stellar season, Archer’s value may have slipped ever so slightly.
Big prospect dump unlikely, but possible
The only way the Cubs give up another bundle of prospects at the trade deadline is if they are certain they know what they are getting in return. With Archer, you can just about count on a great performance every time he takes the mound. Archer posted ERA’s of 3.22, 3.33, and 3.23 in 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively. Yes, he regressed some in 2016, but he is showing signs of a bounce back year in 2017.
In eight starts, Archer is 3-1 with a 3.04 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings pitched.
If Archer can put together a solid season, expect the Cubs to be in hot pursuit of Archer at the trade deadline; for the right price of course.