Pirates acquire Chris Archer from the Rays

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The Tampa Bay Rays have traded starter Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates. In return they are getting pitcher Tyler Glasnow, outfielder Austin Meadows and a player to be named later. 

Archer, 29, is 2-5 with a 4.31 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 102/31 over 96 innings in 17 starts on the year. Taht’s somewhat underwhelming compared to his usual level of performance, but he’s got a 2.70 ERA over his last 43.1 innings after being activated from the disabled list following an abdominal strain that took a good while to heal. His longer-term track record is far better, of course — he’s a two-time All-Star who was one of the most reliable starters in all of baseball between 2014 and 2018 — and he’s under team control through 2021.

While the Pirates are currently out of playoff position, in third place in the NL Central, they have played much better baseball of late and are in striking distance of the second Wild Card, sitting 3.5 games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Of course, since Archer is under team control, the move could be viewed as both a win-now and win-in-the-future kind of a deal for the Pirates.

They are paying a steep price for the privilege of Archer’s services, however. Many believe that Glasnow, in his third season in the bigs, is on the brink of a breakthrough, combining high velocity and an excellent curveball and offspeed pitch. He has come out of the bullpen exclusively this season, but some have compared him to Trevor Bauer as far as his potential goes. Which, fine, you never know, but he’s certainly capable of being a good one.

Meadows is a rookie and he’s doing pretty well in his debut campaign, hitting .292/.327/.468 with five homers in 165 plate appearances. He was the Pirates’ first round pick in 2013 and won the Rookie of the Month award in May.

Kinsler back with Rangers as special assistant to GM Young

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Former Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler returned to the team as a special assistant to general manager Chris Young, his teammate in the organization’s minor league system nearly two decades ago.

Young said that Kinsler, who was part of the franchise’s only two World Series teams in 2010 and 2011, will be heavily involved in player development and providing mentorship to both players and staff.

Kinsler, a four-time All-Star, was part of a World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, a year before his retirement. Kinsler played 14 seasons in the major leagues and spent the last three years in the front office of the San Diego Padres as a special assistant in baseball operations and player development. The 40-year-old has been living in the Dallas area, as he did throughout his playing career.

Kinsler played for the U.S. in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and Israel in last summer’s Olympics, and he will manage Israel in next month’s WBC.

Young and Kinsler were teammates for several weeks at Double-A Frisco in the summer of 2004, the same year the pitcher made his big league debut. They were in big league spring training together in 2005, then Young was traded after that season.

A 17th-round draft pick by Texas in 2003, Kinsler played 1,066 games for the Rangers from 2006-13, hitting .273 with 156 homers, 539 RBIs and 172 stolen bases. He hit .311 with a .422 on-base percentage in 34 postseason games. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame last summer.

Kinsler hit .269 with 257 homers, 909 RBIs and 243 stolen bases in 1,888 career games overall with Texas, Detroit (2014-17), the Los Angeles Angels (2018), Boston (2018), and San Diego (2019). He is one of only two MLB second baseman with 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in multiple seasons, and had the only six-hit cycle in a nine-inning game since 1900 on April 15, 2009.