The New York Yankees are always on the lookout for pitching. In reality, all the league is, or at least should. Hurlers are prone to injuries and severe drop-offs in performance, so having extra depth is never a bad idea.
Back in 2018, when the Yankees were shopping for starting pitching help prior to July’s non-waiver trade deadline, they had their eye on Archer. He was, and is, a talented pitcher after all. However, he has been on a downward spiral in the last few years and wouldn’t have made much sense at the time.
Thankfully for the Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays traded Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows and other notable prospect, Shane Baz. At that price, he wasn’t a worthwhile gamble for the New York Yankees.
Why “thankfully”? Archer struggled mightly in 2019, to the tune of a 5.19 ERA and a 5.02 FIP in 119.2 frames and 23 starts. He gave up 1.88 home runs per each nine innings. Yikes.
Today, it was reported that Archer underwent surgery on Tuesday to relieve symptoms of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. He will not pitch in the hypothetical 2020 season.
The best move the Yankeed didn’t make
As Mike Rosenstein of NJ.com puts it, not trading for Chris Archer was among the best moves general manager Brian Cashman never made.
Archer was a two-time All-Star in Tampa, and up to 2015, his career was on the path to stardom. He went from being stellar to just good between 2016 and 2018, and he flopped completely last year.
At this point, Archer isn’t precisely old, being 31 years old, but you do have to wonder if he could ever come back to a performance level resembling his 2013-2015 self, or even his 2016-2018 self. New York Yankees
If they had traded for Archer, the Yankees would be dealing with yet another injury in their starting pitching corps, and there is no guarantee that, with Archer’s home run issues last year and the cozy confines of Yankee Stadium (for hitters, that is) his stay in the Bronx wouldn’t have been a disaster performance-wise.
Thoracic outlet syndrome ended Josh Beckett’s career, and it has significantly affected Matt Harvey. Here’s hoping Archer can eventually come back strong, just not with the Yankees.