On July 31st 2018, the Rays sent Chris Archer to the Pirates as part of the biggest deal of the deadline. In Archers 7 seasons with the Rays, he recorded a 54-68 record, with an ERA of 3.69. With 1063 innings pitched and 1146 strikeouts he was well on his way to becoming on of the best in the league. Having career years in 2013, 2014, and 2015. With the highest ERA being 3.33, he had a lot of potential, you could just tell there was something special there. Unfortunately, Tampa wasn’t the place. It seemed as though the two sides had a mutual agreement and Archer was traded. What the Rays got in return for him, makes this one of the most lopsided trades in the MLBs modern history, recieving Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow.
His two years in Pittsburgh were nowhere near as successful. Archer compiled a 6-12 record with an ERA of 4.92. Pittsburgh’s scheme wasn’t a great fit. As the only true Ace on the roster, Archer’s skills were never utilized to their potential. The Rays have Glasnow and newly added Rich Hill. Things probably don’t look too great from an outside perspective. But there is hope, the Rays have one of the best pitching coaches in the league in Kyle Snyder, who got started in the Rays system in 2012 and got promoted in 2018.
Snyder never really got connected with Archer, only being together for half a season. But as Snyder has done before with other castaways, he can get the most out of Archer. Rays fans have reason for optimism. Pittsburgh declined his 11 million dollar option for the 2021 season, after testing free agency, he came to the Rays on a 1 year deal worth 6.5 million dollars. Archer is still recovering from an injury that kept him off the field for last years shortened season. Rays fans should expect t9 see Archer in 25-30 contests. At 32 years old, can Archer help the reigning AL Champions finally win that sweet, sweet trophy? I think so.