Chris Archer
The Chris Archer trade just might go down as one of the worst in baseball history (Charles LeClaire/USA Today)

The Pittsburgh Pirates were in an odd go for it mode during the 2018 MLB Trade Deadline. Despite the fact that the Brewers and Cubs were clearly superior teams in the NL Central, the Pirates wanted to make a splash to close the gap anyway. I am, of course, talking about the Chris Archer acquisition. It turns out that trade that sent Archer to Pittsburgh via Tampa Bay may just go down as one of the worst trades in the history of baseball. It’s such an egregious trade that Pirates GM Neal Huntington should be fired ASAP for it.

The Rays have flourished into a real contender in 2019. A large thanks can go to the Pirates. In return for Archer, Tampa Bay received Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and Shane Baz. Obviously, prospects are a tough thing to gauge but there’s no excuse for this one. Glasnow and Meadows are contributing in a big way at the major league level just months after the trade. This trade was a disaster from the jump.

If the season ended today, Glasnow probably wins the Cy Young. Through 8 starts in 2019, Glasnow has 1.86 ERA striking out 55 while walking just 9 in 48 innings. Don’t ask me how you give up on that. Glasnow is also 6-foot-8 and throws gas. The Rays power righty throws 98 with ease and has nasty movement. The ball also gets on top of hitters so fast because of how long he is.

Giving up Glasnow for Archer would have been a failure by itself. NOPE… the trade didn’t stop there. Austin Meadows has done nothing except rake. Thus far, Meadows has slashed a line of .360/.427/.721 with 8 HRs and 22 RBIs. Well, then. Again, there’s no excuse for this one. Meadows was a first round pick by the Pirates. He had advanced all the way to AAA and was playing well in the minors. The situation in Pittsburgh had paved the way for Meadows to succeed too. Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco were slotted in as starters. Meadows could have been the missing piece. Instead, he was shipped out for a 5th starter. Awful.

The rest of the deal included a player to be named later. In most instances, a PTBNL is a throw in that usually never amounts to anything more than a utility player in the best case scenario. NOPE… this time the Pirates added another former first round pick Shane Baz. He is the Rays 10th best prospect entering the season.

I don’t understand what Neal Huntington could have been thinking. How did no assistant stop him from making this move? Chris Archer has not been a good pitcher since 2015. Archer led the majors in losses in 2016 and wild pitches in 2017. Now Archer is 30 and in the latter stages of his career. The Pirates didn’t just go all in on a pitcher who isn’t very good. They did so when they weren’t close to catching the Brewers or Cubs to begin with. The Pirates traded away Gerrit Cole prior to the season only to undo the move with a much worse version of Cole. Neal Huntington should be fired for the Chris Archer trade. Case closed.