Cubs offered James Shields a three-year, $60 million deal

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Before signing with the Padres for $75 million James Shields got some late interest from the Cubs, with Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that Chicago jumped into the mix last week once it was clear Shields’ overall market was somewhat underwhelming.

According to Rosenthal–and the New York Post, too–the Cubs offered Shields a three-year, $60 million deal even after inking Jon Lester to a six-year, $155 million deal earlier this offseason.

Shields ultimately decided to play at home in San Diego, choosing the Padres’ four-year, $75 million offer that includes an option for a fifth year. But it’s telling that the Cubs were willing to spend another big chunk of money and suggests they’ll probably be in the market for top-of-the-rotation help again next winter when guys like Jordan Zimmermann, Zack Greinke, David Price, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Doug Fister, and Mat Latos could all be on the market.

Pirates shut down Chris Archer

Chris Archer
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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.