UPDATE: It’s a done deal. Arizona will receive minor leaguers Jefferson Mejia and Zack Godley, with Chicago taking on all of Montero’s contract.
Monday’s rumored trade is apparently close to a done deal, as Bob Nightingale of USA Today reports that the Cubs “are on the verge of acquiring” Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero.
Montero was an All-Star in 2011 and signed a five-year, $60 million contract extension in May of 2012, but he’s failed to crack a .700 OPS in each of the past two seasons and is now 31 years old. He’s owed $12 million in 2015, $14 million in 2016, and $14 million in 2017.
Chicago was looking to upgrade at catcher following a poor year from Welington Castillo. Arizona is expected to receive a pair of minor leaguers and it’s unclear if any money will be changing hands to cover Montero’s salaries.
The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.
Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.