Angels have interest in Rockies infielder Josh Rutledge

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According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, the Angels have interest in acquiring Rockies infielder Josh Rutledge. Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post confirms the report and adds that the Rockies are likely looking for pitching in return.

Rutledge turns 25 in April and batted .269/.323/.405 with four home runs and 33 RBI over 105 games this past season while making starts at shortstop, second base, and third base. He’s not yet arbitration-eligible.

Rutledge wouldn’t be a starter for the Angels as currently constituted, but second baseman Howie Kendrick will be a free agent after next season and Erick Aybar has two years left on his deal.

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.