This would be the slam dunk add for the Pittsburgh Pirates and likely would be viewed as the biggest move under Neal Huntington. However, it should not be that farfetched. As I wrote yesterday, the team has plenty of top prospects in the upper minors that could be used in a trade.
Players like Ke’Bryan Hayes and Cole Tucker have Colin Moran and likely Kevin Newman in front of them for many years to come. A deal headlined by those two should get the ball rolling with another prospect or two added on. Meanwhile, the team gets a pitcher who is completely dominant at times, would benefit from leaving the AL East, and is under cheap control through 2021.
Archer is having a down year by his standards with an ERA of 4.30 in 16 starts. However, that does not tell the entire story. Archer, as usual, is posting impressive strikeout numbers. He has struck out 99 batters in his 90 innings pitched. Also, while his ERA is north of four, Archer has a FIP of 3.50 and a xFip of 3.51.
The Pittsburgh Pirates currently rank ninth in the National League in strikeouts by starters, so adding Archer would give them a different look from a starter. Also, he would be the perfect type of a pitcher for a team, he is a top of the rotation type arm that would compliment Jameson Taillon.
On top of that, he is very affordable in terms of finances. This year he is making $6.25 million (prorated to $2.21 million for the final two months). In 2017 he is slated to get an increase to $7.5 million, and in both 2019 and 2020, he has club options for $8.25 million each. So there is a guarantee that he could finish the rest of his contract here being he is not a pitcher with a salary that will continue to grow even higher.