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.