Rays receive two highly touted prospects, player to be named later
With time ticking down before the MLB trade deadline on Tuesday afternoon, the Tampa Bay Rays produced the biggest headline of the day when they dealt Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The pitcher will bring the Rays CF Austin Meadows and pitching prospect Tyler Glasnow, as well as a player to be named later, as a return.
Trading Chris Archer had been anticipated and predicted throughout baseball in the buildup to Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. The destination, however, came as a considerable surprise. Teams had been rumored as potential suitors for Archer, but the Pirates were not among them until the last minute, with rumored trades with the San Diego Padres or the New York Yankees simply never materializing or not outbidding the Pirates.
Outbidding Pittsburgh would have been tough. The Pirates sent Meadows and Glasnow, two of their best trade assets. Glasnow, a 6’8” pitcher with a fastball that threatens triple digits, was not long ago considered part of a rotation of the future in Pittsburgh alongside Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole. At 24, Glasnow is at the tail end of how old a player can be while still being considered a prospect. His mechanics, likely due to his height, have held the young pitcher back in his development, but he has demonstrated the ability to strike people out at the Major League level. At the same time, he has shown more than enough ability to miss bats on every level he has been given the chance to have played.
Meadows is an outfielder who has the potential to be a true “five-tool” player if everything goes right. He can do it all: Run, hit, hit for power, play the outfield, and throw the baseball. It’s no wonder, then, that he was considered one of the standouts of Pittsburgh’s farm system coming into this season. Meadows came up to the Pirates in 2018 to some success, but was sent down to the minor leagues after encountering his first taste of struggles at the dish. He will report to AAA Durham for his first taste of the Rays’ organization, but the move is expected to be very much a temporary one in an effort to get the talented young outfielder more playing time.
In Pittsburgh, there should be excitement about Archer joining their rotation. Archer’s peripherals and advanced metrics indicate he’s as sharp on the mound as ever, and he has racked up strikeouts in his appearances as he has always done. Moving to the National League will likely help his earned run average get closer to his more impressive fielding independent pitching number. This is a big boost to a Pittsburgh team looking to make a run at a playoff spot just a few months after trading franchise favorites Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole in the offseason.