It’s a reunion for one of the bounce-back, buy-low, starting pitching options, but it’s not with the Cubs (although that, too, would’ve been a reunion!).
Chris Archer is going back to the Rays:
Rays and Chris Archer in agreement on 1-year $6.5M deal, pending physical @Ken_Rosenthal 1st
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 2, 2021
That is a stunning price tag for a guy who’d sunk as low as Archer and who required surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome (a procedure from which not every pitcher comes back). HOWEVER, if he was throwing this offseason for teams and looked good, and if the surgery actually addressed issues that contributed to his decline in performance, then this is a great bet by the Rays. Also … they NEVER spend this kind of money on free agents, so they must feel really, really good about where he is physically. Good for him.
As for the Cubs and the market as a whole, these short-term pitchers are still getting paid very well, and you wonder if the Cubs will pony up (relatively speaking) for a Jake Arrieta or Jeff Samardzija or Mike Foltynewicz or Rick Porcello. The options in that tier are dwindling a bit.