Revisiting the Best Trade in Tampa Bay Rays History

Los Angeles Angels v Tampa Bay Rays
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Looking Back at the Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates. . Trade Grade. F

There is no other way to say it, this deal for the Pirates was one of many catastrophic moves by the club in the late 2010s.

After trading away Gerrit Cole, who would go on to be one of the best pitchers in baseball, the Pirates gave away a well above-average bat in Austin Meadows, one of the most electrifying pitchers in the game in Tyler Glasnow, and perhaps the most valuable player in the deal, Shane Baz.

Upon landing with the Pirates, Archer would find himself with the club for just two seasons, going 6-12 with a 4.92 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 172 innings of work. Not only did Archer not get back to his prime days with Tampa Bay, but he also regressed into one of the worst starters in baseball.

The Pittsburgh Pirates also found themselves regressing, finishing 82-79 in 2018 and then following to 69-93, 19-41, and 61-101 from 2019-2021. In the midst of what seems like a very long rebuild, the pieces they had traded away could have netted them much-needed prospects or could have played key roles in the retooling of the club.