Back when Chris Archer was in the AL East with the Rays, he was one of the most feared pitchers in the game. Since his trade to the Pirates, his career took a downturn.
In six and-a-half season with the Rays, Archer combined to go 54-68 with a 3.69 ERA in 179 games (177 starts) with his two relief appearances coming in his rookie year. His losing record can be attributed to the fact that he played on the Rays before they were the dynasty in the making they are today, as the team annually finished in the bottom of the standings early in hi career.
With the Rays, Archer was a strikeout artist as he sat down 1,146 batters over 960 hits given up. He made it to two All-Star games in a Rays jersey and from 2015-2017, was either second or third in strikeouts among American League pitchers.
At the 2018 trade deadline, he was shipped to the Pirates in now what’s remembered as one of the most lopsided deals in recent memory. Archer was headed to the Steel City in return for Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz who were all top prospects at the time. As it is now, Meadows and Glasnow are key parts of the Rays and Baz is the 86th ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
In a year and-a-half with the Pirates, Archer was 6-12 with a 4.92 ERA over 50 starts. Even with a losing record and a poor earned run average, Archer still racked up more strikeouts than hits given up.
As Archer sat out the 2020 season suffering from thoracic outlet syndrome, he will be looking to prove himself that he’s capable of staying in the major leagues.
The Blue Jays could roll the dice and take a chance on him to pitch in the backend of the rotation. Clayton Richer wrote an article exploring the possibility of the Jays taking on Archer as a reclamation project.