Pirates starter Chris Archer underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair a bilateral hernia, Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The Pirates say Archer is expected to be on schedule or close to it for the 2019 season.
Archer, 30, was traded by the Rays to the Pirates ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. He battled a groin injury with his new team, ultimately settling on offseason surgery. Overall, Archer posted a 4.31 ERA with a 162/49 K/BB ratio in 148 1/3 innings.
Archer is under contract next season at $7.5 million. The Pirates have club options for the 2020 and ’21 seasons for $9 million and $11 million, respectively, with respective buyouts of $1.75 million and $250,000.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.