BALTIMORE, MD – JULY 27: Starting pitcher Chris Archer # 22 of the Tampa Bay Rays works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 27, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith / Getty Images)
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Chris Archer was one of the hottest players in the trading market in 2018. The Tampa Bay Rays ace was considered one of the best guns available, someone who could make a difference in the postseason hunt. Then, surprisingly, he landed in Pittsburgh, where the pirates returned to the postseason.
After two and a half disastrous years in Pittsburgh, Archer comes home. He’s signed a $ 6.5 million one-year deal with the Rays.
Right-handed Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay Rays agree on a $ 6.5 million one-year deal that is pending.
Archer, 32, is returning to the organization where he made his debut and achieved his greatest success.
– Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 2, 2021
Chris Archer – the gift the Tampa Bay Rays give again and again
Archer had been a solid arm to Tampa Bay. He had brilliant flashes that led to hope that he could be a differentiator as he posted an ERA of 3.69 and a WHiP of 1.230 over his 1063 innings, beating 1146 batters while spending only 347 walks.
It was different in Pittsburgh. Archer no longer looked like that potential ace as he battled the Pirates for a 4.92 ERA and a 1.395 WHiP. He knocked out 203 batters in his 172 innings, but also knocked out 73 walks and 33 homers. He then missed the 2020 season after undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in June, which led to Pittsburgh’s decision to decline his option for 2021.
To make matters worse, the Pirates abandoned three players who seem destined to play a significant role in Rays’ future success. Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows have already secured their Major League spots, while Shane Baz has become one of the top pitching contestants in the game.
Now Archer has returned. If the Rays are able to lure another solid year out of his arm and bring Tampa Bay back into the postseason, that would be just the icing on the cake. As it is, you already have these three key pieces back in the fold with Archer. If it was possible for this trade to get worse for the pirates, just do it.
The Tampa Bay Rays have returned Chris Archer to a one-year contract. The former all star returns home.