It wasn't until three minutes before the non-waiver deadline Tuesday afternoon that Neal Huntington thought he could realistically trade for his top target. After exhaustive negotiations, Huntington then closed the deal, as the Pirates acquired ace pitcher Chris Archer from the Rays in exchange for Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and a player to be named later.
Archer, a 29-year-old right-hander, is a two-time All-Star and has a 1.38 WHIP with 102 strikeouts in 96 innings this season. He's owed $27 million over the next three seasons, including two club options, and just $7.6 million in 2019. Huntington had balked at trading top prospects in the past, yet the depth of the Pirates' system, bolstered by the offseason trades of Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen, made even two former top prospects expendable.
"We were, as we’ve been every year, in on a number of things, trying to figure out what’s real, what has a chance to happen, where you want to have it happen and how you make it happen, but Chris was our target," Huntington said.