The Pirates (Officially) Lost the Chris Archer Trade

Photo Credit: Ken Lund

Chris Archer is hitting free agency after the Pirates declined his $11 million option for 2021 earlier today.

Instead of $11 million, the Pirates are set to pay Archer $250,000 to complete his contract.

What a complete disaster. 

Archer’s arrival in Pittsburgh had both its supporters and detractors when it was announced that the club acquired him via trade in July of 2018.

Those that supported the trade cited Archer’s two All-Star appearances with the Rays as a sign of what he was capable of doing on the mound. 

The naysayers pointed out his win-loss record and his ERA that was north of 4.00 as points of concern. Another area that struck a nerve with Pirates fans was the involvement of Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow in the deal. A third player, Shane Baz, was also added later.

Although Glasnow was not excelling in Pittsburgh, he was still young and could succeed with time. Meadows was seen as the organization's next potential superstar outfielder, one that could fill the massive shoes that Andrew McCutchen left behind. 

But the name power of Chris Archer was exciting enough for Pittsburgh fans. Marquee players don’t go to Pittsburgh, so fans were excited to see what Archer could do.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t do much.

Archer, who was thought to be the new ace for a rotting Pittsburgh rotation, struggled tremendously.

After 33 starts with the Pirates, Archer had just six wins under his belt. Those wins were accompanied by 12 losses and a thick 5.19 ERA. 

Not exactly “ace” numbers.

Meanwhile, Meadows hit .289 with 33 homers in 2019 en route to an All-Star selection. His numbers left a lot to be desired in the shortened 2020 season, but he only played 36 games due to testing positive for COVID-19. 

Glasnow is 12-7 with a 3.32 ERA during his time in Tampa thus far. Granted he did not fare well in both games, but he also started Games 1 and 5 of the World Series this season.

It has been known for quite some time, but this officially proves that the Pirates lost this trade by a large margin.