Chicago Cubs: Chris Archer should be an off-season target

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 12: Chris Archer
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 12: Chris Archer /
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TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 17: Chris Archer
TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 17: Chris Archer /

Chris Archer makes a lot of sense

Trading for Chris Archer would continue the trend of acquiring young, cost-controlled starting pitching.

Archer will be entering his age 29 season in 2018, but is controlled through 2019 with team options covering the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Even though that would take Archer well into his 30’s, his body of work has been impressive.

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Looking at Archer’s numbers, the first thing that jumps of the page is his durability. From 2014-2016, Archer made 99 starts and recorded 608 innings pitched. This season, Archer has already made 27 starts and logged 172 1/3 innings.

From 2014-2015, Archer was one of the best pitchers in the American League. In that time span, Archer went 22-22 with a 3.28 ERA. Along with that, Archer recorded 425 strikeouts in 406 2/3 innings pitched and logged an ERA+ of 116.

The last two years have not been kind to Archer

After finishing fifth in the Cy Young voting in 2015, Archer’s numbers took a turn for the worse in 2016. The right-hander went 9-19 with a 4.02 ERA in 201 1/3 innings pitched. Despite his inflated ERA, Archer struck out 233 batters, averaging 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

Following his rough 2016 campaign, Archer has rebounded somewhat. In 27 starts this season, Archer has nine wins and a 3.76 ERA. Archer’s 217 strikeouts in 172 1/3 innings means he is averaging 11.3 punch-outs per game; the highest mark of his career.

What is troubling is the fact Archer has allowed 8.2 hits per game in 2017, tying a career-high. In addition to that, Archer yielded 21 home runs; the second-most in a season in his career.

Despite Archer’s struggles, it will still take a haul to land the talented right-hander.