The Chicago Cubs are looking for a cost-controlled pitcher to acquire by the deadline. Their No.1 prospect, however, should be off the table.
The weeks leading up to the trade deadline are always fun. Fans do their best GM impressions and try to figure out what their team needs in order to shore up their playoff chances.
Rumors fly rampant and top prospects hold their breath, waiting for that phone call that tells them they have to move. It’s an exciting time because it gives us a better idea of who’s gunning for a championship and who’s giving up.
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The Chicago Cubs are among the teams looking for an upgrade or two, specifically at the starting pitching position. They’ve been linked to several teams and players for a while now, and it seems like only a matter of time before the front office makes a move.
Recently, Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan told 670 The Score what most fans already knew. Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer was being discussed as a potential acquisition for the Cubs. It’s a good fit, seeing as how Archer is signed through 2021 and in his prime.
However, Passan said that it would take Cubs’ top prospect Eloy Jimenez and possibly more in order to acquire Archer.
"“They’ve had discussions with the Rays in the past about [Archer]. And I think he makes the most sense in terms of the Cubs’ MO of going for cost-controlled starting pitching,” Passan said. “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.”"
Umm, Archer’s great and all but come on. Jimenez is special and trading him is out of the question.
Now I understand that some of you are going to disagree. “But Andrew, what’s the point of having a good farm system if you aren’t going to pull the trigger when the time’s right?’ And that’s a perfectly reasonable argument. Nevertheless, there are several reasons why Jimenez should remain with the organization.
For one, just look at him. A 6-4, 205-pound behemoth, Jimenez was born to crush baseballs. I mean, LOOK AT THIS.
DID YOU SEE THAT? My man Eloy hit a ball so high and far he actually hit the lights. You know what that means? He’s strong. Very strong. He’s so strong pundits liken him to fellow Titan Giancarlo Stanton. Does that sound like someone you want to trade?
The need for pitching is great, yes, but Jimenez has so much upside that letting him go would be foolish. He projects as a middle-of-the-order hitter with a majestic swing, impressive bat speed and huge raw power. Know what that means? Legit 40-homer potential.
Another reason to hang onto him is the Cubs are deep enough to where they could get someone else without losing Jimenez. Could they get Archer with a package of Javy Báez/Ian Happ, Jeimer Candelario and Oscar De La Cruz? Probably not, but it would get a whole bunch of others.
Who says the Cubs’ have to swing for the fences again this year? Adding a frontline starter like Archer would be nice, but let’s not forget that a plethora of options will be ripe for the picking after next season. With the cash the Cubs have, anyone and everyone are available for the taking if they really wanted them.
Last year the Cubs were in a similar position. They eventually pulled the trigger and acquired Aroldis Chapman for previous No.1 prospect Gleyber Torres. However, Torres was a shortstop and more expendable than Jimenez on account of Addison Russell and Báez.
Jimenez is an outfielder able to play both corners. While unlikely, Jason Heyward can opt out after next year and the year after that if he chooses. What if he does? Having Jimenez around right at the time his development will be done would certainly be nice.
The team needs pitching both now and later. That’s a fact. Be that as it may, trading a phenom prospect who could be a force in your lineup like Jimenez should only be done when it absolutely has to. As we currently stand, that time hasn’t come.