Former All-Star Chris Archer Becomes Free Agent After Pirates Decline Club Option

Chris Archer with the Rays in 2017. Photo by Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock

Former All-Star starting pitcher Chris Archer became a free agent on Saturday after his 2021 team option was not picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Archer, who joined the Pirates in a blockbuster trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in July 2018, was unable to find the success that he had in Florida with his new NL Central club in two and a half disappointing seasons.

The North Carolina native, who made the 2015 and 2017 AL All-Star teams during his tenure in Tampa, had a decent 4.30 ERA in 10 starts after joining the team in 2018 but fell backward in 2019.

Archer made 23 starts before missing the month of September due to a shoulder injury, posting a career-worst 5.19 ERA for the cellar-dwelling Pirates.

He then missed the entirety of the 2020 season after undergoing surgery to fix thoracic outlet syndrome.

Pittsburgh elected not to see if Archer could help them in 2021, however, turning down his $11 million club option and making the 32-year-old a free agent. He could appeal to plenty to teams looking for solid starting pitching as a relatively inexpensive bounce-back candidate.

The Pirates will pay a $250,000 buyout to Archer after denying his option, and both parties will go their separate ways.