Rays agree to a six-year contract with pitcher Chris Archer

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Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rays have agreed to six-year contract with pitcher Chris Archer “in the range of” $25 million. The deal begins this season and goes through 2019, with club options for 2020 and 2021. Marc Topkin reports that the specific amount is $25.5 million. Jeff Passan reports that the two club options total around $20M. Thus, if both options are exercised, the total deal will be for eight years and about $45M.

Archer, 25, is entering his third big league season and his second full one. He’s 10-10 with a 3.47 ERA with 137 strikeouts and 51 walks in 158 innings. Of his 29 career games, 27 have come as a starter.

Assuming Archer even comes close to his potential and stays reasonably healthy this will be a bargain for the Rays.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.