Lukewarm Stove: Archer Wants to Win, Cardinals Plans, Teams on Britton, Teams on Starters, deGrom, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Archer Wants to Win, Cardinals Plans, Teams on Britton, Teams on Starters, deGrom, More

Chicago Cubs

It’s already been a pretty busy week on the trade and rumor front, with Manny Machado going to the Dodgers, Brad Hand going to the Indians, the Cubs trading for Jesse Chavez and getting connected to Orioles pitchers Dylan Bundy and Zach Britton – all of which leads me to believe it should be a pretty fun final stretch.

I’m guessing there’s still a lot to go down before we hit August, so buckle up.

  • Tampa Bay Times writer Marc Topkin has drifted in and out of these Lukewarm Stoves over the years, largely because Chris Archer has drifted in and out of Cubs rumors, pretty much since the moment he left the Cubs’ farm system. At this point, it seems almost silly to continue discussing the potential for a trade, but Topkin is pretty tapped in down there in Florida, and he says it’s time for a deal.
  • Of course, now that Archer, 29, is no longer the young man he once was and is getting the worst results of his career (4.29 ERA), and has less team control than ever, it’s fair to wonder if the Rays missed their shot at maximizing his value in trade. Obviously, he still has plenty of upside – frankly, the peripherals aren’t all that bad – as well as three cheap years of team control remaining, but because of the bigger picture, finding common ground on value right now might prove difficult. For what it’s worth, Archer doesn’t know why the Rays would trade him, but also wants to win at some point. “I turn 30 in a couple months,” Archer said. “I want to play the game for 10 more years, but there’s nothing guaranteed in life. I want to experience winning.”
(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
  • Elsewhere, sometimes what’s left unsaid can be deafening:

  • The Cardinals are 8.5 games out of first place after last night’s loss to the Cubs, so on the one hand, trading away certain pieces wouldn’t necessarily be crazy. But at the same time, I just didn’t expect them to sell at all this season, let alone someone as crucial to their roster and near-term success as Carlos Martinez. Not only does “selling” strike me as inherently antithetical to everything Cardinal, but doing it right now – in the middle of a mini-two-year window (think Marcell Ozuna, Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter) – would be crazy. Sure, all Mozeliak said was that he doesn’t envision moving pitching, but what he didn’t say was “we’re not selling this deadline, and we would not trade Martinez right now.” That stands out to me.
  • But who knows … maybe they’ll add someone:

  • Selling is different than avoiding rentals, but it’s clear – especially with the firing of Mike Matheny – that the Cardinals front office is not expecting to win this season. And, in either case, it’s good to hear they’ll be out on Zach Britton, a potential Cubs target.
  • But while the Cardinals may not be competition for the Cubs on Britton, the Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Astros, Phillies, and Braves could be:

  • On a pure prospect-package basis, each of those teams could pretty easily beat just about any realistic package of Minor Leaguers the Cubs put together, though the Cubs do have plenty to pull of a deal if the O’s really like a particular guy. There’s also the possibility that a bigger deal comes together, of course. For what it’s worth, Nick Cafardo has heard that the Orioles have been scouting the Red Sox system with regard to Britton lately, so he might wind up the subject of a lot of bidding.
  • Meanwhile, Jerry Crasnick has heard that the Tigers aren’t really focusing on moving a starter like Michael Fulmer right now, but they are willing to listen. From the sounds of it, it would take a big package to make something work (one rumor had them interested in Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade) and I doubt something like that comes together for the Cubs this summer.
  • Jon Heyman drops a ton of notes at FanCred Sports, but a lot of it is “The buyers are interested in the talented rentals, but don’t want to pay too much. The sellers are fine with moving player X, but only for the entire 1927 Yankees roster in their prime.” At some point, clearer pictures will emerge, but right now it remains very difficult to separate the most accurate predictions from the fleeting rumor.
  • At ESPN, Buster Olney says the Red Sox, Brewers, Yankees, Cubs, Mariners, Braves, and Phillies are all looking for starting pitchers this season, but if Jacob deGrom isn’t moved, there may not be an elite starter available. But despite the lack of an available ace, there is no shortage of arms: J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, Nathan Eovaldi, James Shields, Lance Lynn, Matt Harvey, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Francisco Liriano, Zach Wheeler, Mike Fiers, Tyson Ross, Chris Archer, and Ivan Nova. Of those names, Happ and Eovaldi strike me as the most appealing, but obviously Archer is always an interesting name and Ross is someone this Cubs front office has targeted in the past. If they want a starter, one will be out there.
  • Speaking of deGrom, Ken Rosenthal suggests that he’d be “an ideal choice to front the Rockies’ young rotation, and Colorado has the pieces to get him.” Rosenthal has also heard that probably won’t happen, but suggests that No. 6 overall prospect, Brendan Rodgers, could lead the way as a center piece in such a deal.
  • And finally, at The Athletic, Patrick Mooney discusses the rest of the Cubs plans before the deadline in light of Manny Machado heading to Los Angeles. The Cubs are happy that Machado did not wind up in Milwaukee, but now another October showdown between the Cubs and Dodgers could be on tap. The consensus? The Cubs are not done adding yet.
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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami