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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CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 22: Kyle Schwarber
CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 22: Kyle Schwarber /

What is the likelihood of this trade?

Right now, the likelihood of this trade may not be that high. With Schwarber struggling, many teams may not want to trade for him. Also, let’s remember Chris Archer has been pretty good in his career and the Rays may not want to let go of him.

Archer’s availability this winter depends on whether or not the Rays feel like they can contend in 2018. In the stacked AL East, it would be hard for the Rays to put up a fight, increasing the chance of Archer being dealt.

Still, if Schwarber continues to struggle it may take an entirely different package to acquire Archer. That package would likely be headlined by Ian Happ, but I get the feeling the Cubs would like to hang on to Happ.

In the end, there are a lot of variables that would have to fall into place in order for the Cubs to land Archer this winter. First, Schwarber would need to get hot, increasing his trade value. Secondly, the Rays would need to believe they are firmly out of contention before they trade their ace. Lastly, the Rays would need to feel like Schwarber fills a hole in their line-up, something that he would not currently do.

Let’s say the Cubs land Archer this offseason. That would mean their 2018 starting rotation would look like this: Jon Lester, Chris Archer, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Mike Montgomery/Eddie Butler/a free agent pick-up. That is a scary four-headed monster capable of leading the Cubs to multiple World Series Championships.

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Even if the Cubs do not land Archer, expect the North Siders to be very active in the starting pitching market this off-season.