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Chicago Cubs: Evaluating the Chris Archer-Eloy Jimenez rumors

Jun 17, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 17, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 5, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) walks back to the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) walks back to the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

What’s a realistic asking price?

If the Rays’ asking price starts with Eloy Jimenez, is this even a discussion worth having?

Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs /

Chicago Cubs

Initially, I balked right away at the idea. But Archer represents a substantive answer to Chicago’s rotation shortage. And not just this season, but for several years to come (free agency doesn’t factor in till 2019). His youth and history of making high number of starts consistently certainly make him a promising look.

Even in his 19-loss 2016 season, Archer’s earned run average barely broke 4.00. His 3.41 FIP over nearly 900 big-league regular season innings tells me what kind of pitcher he is: consistent.

Looking ahead to 2018, the Cubs’ rotation is shaky, to say the least. Kyle Hendricks, who has missed time with tendonitis already this year, is penciled in alongside Jon Lester. Past that, options include Eddie Butler and Mike Montgomery. Not exactly an awe-inspiring group.

But if you factor in Archer and assume the Cubs add another arm via free agency, the staff looks much more potent. It all comes down to how much you believe in Jimenez and his abilities. Is he the next big thing in Major League Baseball or just a second coming of Jorge Soler?

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