Did Neal Huntington overpay for Chris Archer?

Did Neal Huntington overpay for Chris Archer?


Did Neal Huntington overpay for Chris Archer?


With Tuesday’s news that Pittsburgh Pirates No. 4 prospect Shane Baz is the player to be named later in the Chris Archer deal, the big question to be answered is if Pirates manager Neal Huntington overpaid to acquire Archer.

That’s a fair question to raise, especially since Huntington has never really parted with prospects before.

But let’s take a look at exactly what Huntington gave up for Archer.

Tyler Glasnow

Long one of the Pirates top prospects, Glasnow just couldn’t get things figured out in Pittsburgh.

Pitching both as a starter and a reliever, Glasnow showed some flashes of brilliance, but could never put it together on a consistent basis.

All in all he went 3-11 with a 5.79 ERA in 56 appearances (17 starts). He also had a 4.90 FIP, 1.702 WHIP, a 9.7 K/9 and a horrendous 5.9 BB/9.

Maybe a change of scenery is exactly what he needed as in three starts with Tampa, Glasnow has pitched 12 innings, allowed just three earned runs, just six hits and walked just three while striking out a whopping 20 batters already.

I’ve always been high on Glasnow and for me he’s the most talented piece the Pirates parted with in the Archer trade.

His heater has been on display in Tampa as he topped out at 99.7 mph and averaged 97.1 mph in his most recent start against Toronto.

But he was also a pitcher who couldn’t get out of his own way in Pittsburgh and one without a defined role for this year or next.

Austin Meadows

Meadows, another prized prospect, also is one that Huntington could afford to part ways with.

He showed everyone what he was capable of by coming up and setting the world on fire.

Meadows would eventually slow down and found himself without much playing time.

During his time in Pittsburgh he posted a .292/.367/.468 line with five homers and 13 RBI.

But after posting a .409/.406/.795 line in May, Meadows cooled off considerably, posting a .260/.310/.377 mark in June, followed by a woeful .212/.235/.242 July.

He also hit only one homer after the month of May.

A lot of Meadows struggles can be pointed to Clint Hurdle’s four-man outfield rotation, which saw his hottest hitter at the time not getting regular at bats.

But with Corey Dickerson, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco in the lineup, Meadows wasn’t going to get many at bats this year or next.

Throw in the fact that Jason Martin and Bryan Reynolds are on the way in the next couple of years and Meadows was expendable.

Meadows is currently in Triple-A with the Durham Bulls and is off to a great start. In his first nine games, Meadows was 12 for 31 with three home runs and eight RBI, including this walk-off homer.

Overall, he’s hitting .333/.372/.718 with three homers in 42 plate appearances over 11 games for Durham.

Shane Baz

The inclusion of Baz has Pirates fans flipping out, but I don’t know why.

He’s exactly the kind of prospect you deal to get a pitcher like Archer.

Baz, the Bucs 2017 first-round pick, is coming off a good week in which he was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week after putting up two shutout appearances with outings of four and two-thirds and five scoreless on Monday and Saturday..

On the season Baz is 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in 10 starts.

Throughout his brief minor-league career, Baz has compiled a 3.91 ERA in 69 innings of work, striking out 73 while walking 37.

However, I don’t have a problem with sending him to Tampa.

Baz won’t be ready until 2021 at the earliest. So you trade a pitcher with some control issues that won’t be ready for three-plus years for a guy in Archer that will slot into either the first or second spot in the rotation for the next three-plus years.

It’s a no-brainer.

To acquire players of Archer’s caliber, you look to deal high-ceiling prospects that are years away from contributing at the MLB level.

While Baz has a high ceiling, I’ve never been overly sold on him either so it makes sense for both teams.


Did Huntington overpay for Archer?

Maybe a little, but sometimes you have to in order to get the guy you want.

As long as Archer pitches as a top of the rotation starter for three years, it’s a good deal for the Pirates.

It’s one of those trades that both teams win.

The inclusion of Baz doesn’t do much for me to sway my opinion. The guy I hated to lose the most was Glasnow as he has the most talent of the three.

But from the Pirates perspective, where does Glasnow fit in the immediate future? I ask the same about Meadows? And Baz is at least three years away from making a contribution at the MLB level.

That’s a win for the Pirates.

Pirates’ fans always want to deal prospects for talent and when it happens they are up in arms about Huntington doing exactly what they wanted.

No one knows who will win this trade for three years, but as long as Archer pitches well for the Pirates it really doesn’t matter.

Even if all three of the players he dealt become stars, Huntington got the guy he wanted and a guy that can make a difference at the MLB level the next three years.

The same couldn’t be said for the three guys he gave up.

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