1/7 Archer key to Garza deal

The Cubs and Rays have talked since the Winter Meetings about a possible trade but the Cubs were reluctant to part with 22-year-old Chris Archer. Earlier this week, discussions broke off. But the Rays called again to say another team had entered the bidding. The Cubs decided to include Archer in the package. The Cubs will send five players to the Rays for Garza and two Minor Leaguers, and the deal will be complete once all undergo physicals.

Archer combined to go 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 28 games between Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee in 2010. Acquired from the Indians in December 2008 in the Mark DeRosa trade, he was 8-2 with a 1.80 ERA with the Smokies.

On Oct. 12, Archer struck out 10 and threw six scoreless innings for Team USA to help beat Cuba, 4-1, in the Pan American Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico. On Friday, he was attending the Rookie Career Development Program in Leesburg, Va., when he got news of the pending trade and left to get a physical exam.

— Carrie Muskat

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