Prior to acquiring the left-hander from the Chicago White Sox in a blockbuster deal on Thursday, the Cubs checked in on Chris Archer, Marcus Stroman, and Gerrit Cole, according to a report from Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily.
Once Fulmer wasn't available, the Cubs called the Tampa Bay Rays regarding the availability of Archer. However, the second-place Rays believe they could contend for a postseason spot and weren't willing to part with their 28-year-old ace.
The Toronto Blue Jays were contacted regarding Stroman, but acquiring their young starter would have cost the Cubs a player on their active roster - something they didn't give up for Quintana.
Interestingly, the Jays appear to be eyeing contention, but Gammons' report points to a willingness to deal Stroman providing a return that immediately helps the roster.
The Cubs appear to be chasing young, controllable arms, but whether they are still interested in acquiring one of the top-tier trade assets on the pitching market now that they traded for Quintana remains to be seen.
Even further, being able to lure Archer, Stroman, or Cole away from their respective teams without Eloy Jimenez or Dylan Cease - the prospects the Cubs gave up to acquire Quintana - could be difficult. The team no longer has a top-100 prospect in their system, according to MLB Pipeline.