Most teams are forced to settle for rentals at the trade deadline. The Pirates did more than that by swinging a deal for Chris Archer.
Credit the PIrates for wading through the players available at the trade deadline and acquiring a pitcher who can help them for years to come. Landing Chris Archer from Tampa Bay gives Pittsburgh a starting pitcher who they can count on through 2021.
Reports claim the Pirates are going to send Tyler Glasnow and Aaron Meadows to Tampa to complete the transaction. Both players should be in a position to help the Rays right away. Pittsburgh aren’t getting Archer for free by any means.
Obviously Archer will immediately go right into the Pirates’ starting rotation. He will likely bump Nick Kingham into the bullpen which will give Clint Hurdle one more arm to leverage in late game situations down the stretch.
Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows,
The real question here is how much of an upgrade Archer really is. He’s got electric stuff, but his ERA this season is only 4.30 in 96 innings pitched. That mark would only be good for fourth in the Pirates’ potential five-man rotation. It’s safe to expect some uptick in his performance after exiting the murderous AL East, but Archer doesn’t project as an ace for the Pirates.
He does, however, profile as a middle of the rotation starter for Pittsburgh until his current contract ends in 2021. That’s a very valuable commodity given his reasonable salary. This isn’t a deal that will be fully measured by what the Pirates do this season. Archer’s impact in Pittsburgh should last for years to come.
Unfortunately, the team didn’t acquire him on a bargain. Giving up two young Major Leaguers is a steep price at the deadline. The Pirates got a piece that will definitely help them, but the Rays front office certainly has reason to be excited about their haul.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have flirted with the idea of moving Archer for the better part of two years. Clearly, they finally got a package they really liked to move their talented starter.
Meadows is the most interesting player in the deal. He’s bounced back and forth between AAA and the big leagues this year, but he’s still only 23. Acquiring a young, athletic outfielder who can capably play all three positions gives the Rays a ton of flexibility moving forward. He isn’t a quality Major League starter yet, but it’s easy to see him developing into one in short order.
Glasnow may not have the high-ceiling that Meadows possesses, but he’s ready to help the Rays’ bullpen right now. The towering southpaw has made 34 appearances for the Pirates this season and has a respectable ERA of 4.34. At 24 years of age, there’s still plenty of room for him to grow as well. At worst, the Rays have acquired an average bullpen arm, at best, they’ve managed to bring a top-notch left-handed reliever into the organization.
Reports still claim a third player will head to Tampa in this deal, but they’ve already won the transaction without any additional help. Flipping Archer for two players who could easily become above-average regulars is a great deal for the Rays.