Chris Archer's Pirates Career is Likely Over and That Trade Just Keeps Getting Worse

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Chris Archer
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Chris Archer / Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates needed Chris Archer to return to his ace form in order to avoid making them look like fools after trading Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow, and Shane Baz to the Tampa Bay Rays to get him.

Unfortunately, Archer will miss the entire 2020 season due to thoracic outlet syndrome, and it's unlikely Pittsburgh will pick up his 2021 option. In exchange for three franchise cornerstones in Tampa, the Pirates got a 4.92 ERA in 33 starts from Archer.

Not only has Archer performed like a replacement-level pitcher, but all three of the players Tampa Bay acquired have hit their stride. Meadows clubbed 33 home runs last year and is easily the best offensive threat on the Rays, while Glasnow finally figured out his accuracy and morphed into a strikeout machine. Even Baz put up a 3.32 ERA with the Single-A Bowling Green Hot Rods.

Trading away an All-Star third baseman in Aramis Ramirez and an elite center fielder in Kenny Lofton to the Chicago Cubs for 58 games of a .223 hitter in a washed Jose Hernandez and a guy who never made it to the major leagues used to be the worst trade the team ever pulled off. Unfortunately, this might take the cake in Pittsburgh.

Huntington and Nutting haven't exactly been the pillar of success or consistency during their time with the Pirates. Moves like this only go to show that it's hard to keep winning when the organization is run by a guy who trades three top prospects for an underperforming starter and who uses a pandemic as a reason to suspend retirement benefits.