The Rays Go Full Circle With Chris Archer

Chris Archer pitched for the Rays in 2017. He is currently being worked into the starting rotation for the ALCS champion Tampa Bay Rays.

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Nick Jones, Reporter

   The Tampa Bay Rays have come full circle since the trade that sent Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2018. 

   The trade that is dubbed as one of the best trades of the decade is now meaningless for the Pirates, as Archer is now back on the Rays.

   At the Major League Baseball trade deadline in 2018, Archer was dealt to the Pirates for three lesser known players in the Pirates system. At the time Archer was not performing up to his standard. 

  The Rays needed to dump salary as they had done many times before, And the Pirates were looking for an elite arm. The trade made complete sense at the time for both sides, It was executed leaving many fans in Tampa Bay shocked. Within a year Tampa had traded away fan favorites such as Evan Longoria, Corey Dickerson and now Chris Archer. 

   For the return end of the trade, the Rays received Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and prospect Shane Baz. Meadows and Glasnow were both early on players. In the eyes of a Tampa fan, it was a usual salary dump. So for the first couple of months, Pittsburgh had won the trade. 

     Then 2019 rolled around, Glasnow and Meadows had made the 40 man roster. Meadows made it to the opening day roster as starting Right Fielder. Batting lead off Meadows hit a home run to start the season. He proceeded to be one of Tampa’s top offensive bats for the season. 

   Glasnow also began to light it up. He would deliver high velocity pitching with a dangerous curveball posting an ERA of just above 1.00.  Unfortunately, he suffered an arm injury and would not be back in on the roster until later in the year. 

   On the other hand of the trade, Archer never found his stride, he ended up posting the highest ERA in the league in the beginning months. The so-called “elite arm” was not living up to expectations. The Pirates ended up having one of the worst records in the majors going 69-93. 

   Flash Forward to 2021, Chris Archer is officially a free agent.He as of now had just finished recovering from Thoracic Outlet Surgery. 

   Tampa was looking for arms to fill in the voids created by the departure of Charlie Morton and Blake Snell. After signing Michael Wacha to a deal, the Rays made it full circle signing Chris Archer to a six million dollar contract for one year. Making the salary dump trade made by the Rays in 2018 the best trade of the entire decade.