Pittsburgh Pirates News: Chris Archer’s Option Declined


In one of the most predictable moves of the entire MLB offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates have declined pitcher Chris Archer’s option for 2021 making him a free agent

The Chris Archer era is over in Pittsburgh. Satuday even, the Pittsburgh Pirates declined the right-handed pitcher’s $11 million option for 2021. By doing this, Archer has become a free agent for the first time in his career.

By now, everyone knows the story on Archer. The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired him from the Tampa Bay Rays at the 2018 trade deadline in an effort to help with the team’s postseason push. While the team did not make the postseason in 2018, they did finish the season with a winning record for the first time since 2015.

Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong for Archer during his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates did. He was shutdown early in 2018 due to a shoulder issue, and then had multiple injured list stints in 2019. Archer then missed all of 2020 due to undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.

Archer made just 33 starts in his 2+ seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He struggled to the tune of a 4.92 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 1.73 HR/9, 9.7% walk rate, and a 27.0% strikeout rate in 172 innings pitched.

Not only did Archer struggle with the Pirates, but the Pirates gave up a huge haul to land Archer. With the Rays, Austin Meadows was an American League All-Star in 2019 and key cog for the team again in 2020. Tyler Glasnow has become one of Tampa Bay’s best starting pitcher, and also played a key role in them reaching the World Series in 2020.

In addition to these two, the Pirates also sent the Rays pitching prospect Shane Baz. The former first-round pick has flashed that first-round talent since being traded and he has shot up prospect boards. Baz ranks as the 71st best prospect in baseball according to Baseball America, 90th according to MLB Pipeline and 30th according to Baseball Prospectus.

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While things did not work out on the field for Archer in Pittsburgh, he immediately embraced the community and became involved in a lot of great causes. Archer is an easy guy to root for, and, hopefully, he will be able to land somewhere in free agency and revive his career.