After a brief stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chris Archer is returning to the Tampa Bay Rays. The 32-year-old righty is heading back to his original team on a one-year, $6.5 million deal.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first broke the news.
Free-agent right-hander Chris Archer in agreement with Rays, pending physical, sources tell @TheAthletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 2, 2021
It’s been a difficult couple of years for the once promising star. From 2012-2017, Archer owned a 3.63 ERA and struck out over 1000 batters. His strong performance made him a two-time All-Star and propelled him to a top-five AL Cy Young finish in 2015.
Things started to unravel in a dodgy 2018 campaign that culminated in the Rays trading him to the Pirates. Unfortunately, 2019 was a complete disaster for Archer. In just 23 starts, he posted career-worst marks with a 5.19 ERA, 1.9 HR/9 and 4.1 BB/9. Ultimately, he would miss the entire 2020 season after undergoing surgery to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome. The surgery is often a career ender for many pitchers. Most recently, Matt Harvey had his once dominant career cut short by this very procedure.
After losing starters Charlie Morton and Blake Snell, the Rays were in need of starting pitching help. If Archer can be anything close to the pitcher he used to be, the Rays might be able to salvage his career and their rotation.
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