Pirates acquire Chris Archer in surprising trade with Rays

The Pittsburgh Pirates pulled off a surprising trade just before Tuesday’s deadline, acquiring ace pitcher Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays for a package of prospects.

Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan confirmed the deal was completed.

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Momentum towards a deal started picking up over the weekend when it became clear Tampa Bay was more open to trading Archer. The asking price remained high, but the Pirates met it.

Archer, 29, was among the few true frontline pitchers available. Making him more appealing to inquiring teams is the fact he’s under control for another three seasons and will cost only $27.5 million. The Rays realized teams will pay more for more control, so it made sense for them to dive in.

Archer isn’t having his strongest season. He finished April with a 6.61 ERA, but has since lowered that to 4.31. Through 17 starts, he’s posted 102 strikeouts over 96 innings. He also missed five weeks with an abdominal muscle issue, but has been remarkably durable over his career. He made at least 32 starts every season between 2014 and 2017.

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MLB players moved at the 2018 trade deadline
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MLB players moved at the 2018 trade deadline

2B Ian Kinsler

Former team: Los Angeles Angels
New team: Boston Red Sox

(Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)

3B Manny Machado

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: Los Angeles Dodgers

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

RP Zach Britton

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: New York Yankees

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

RP Jeurys Familia

Former team: New York Mets 
New team: Oakland Athletics

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

SP Nathan Eovaldi

Former team: Tampa Bay Rays
New Team: Boston Red Sox

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

SP J.A. Happ

Former team: Toronto Blue Jays
New team: New York Yankees

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

INF Eduardo Escobar

Former team: Minnesota Twins
New team: Arizona Diamondbacks

(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

INF Asdrubal Cabrera

Former team: New York Mets
New team: Philadelphia Phillies

(Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

C Martin Maldonado

Former team: Los Angeles Angels
New team: Houston Astros

(Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)

RP Roberto Osuna

Former team: Toronto Blue Jays
New team: Houston Astros

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

RP Jonny Venters

Former team: Tampa Bay Rays
New team: Atlanta Braves

(Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

RP Brad Hand

Former team: San Diego Padres
New team: Cleveland Indians

(Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

INF Brandon Drury

Former team: New York Yankees
New team: Toronto Blue Jays

(Photo by Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

RP Brad Brach

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: Atlanta Braves

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

RP Chasen Shreve

Former team: New York Yankees
New team: St. Louis Cardinals

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

RP Joakim Soria

Former team: Chicago White Sox
New team: Milwaukee Brewers

(Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

RP Seunghwan Oh

Former team: Toronto Blue Jays
New team: Colorado Rockies

(Photograph by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

3B Mike Moustakas

Former team: Kansas City Royals
New team: Milwaukee Brewers

(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

INF Brett Phillips

Former team: Milwaukee Brewers
New team: Kansas City Royals

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

SP Cole Hamels

Former team: Texas Rangers
New team: Chicago Cubs

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

RP Eddie Butler

Former team: Chicago Cubs
New team: Texas Rangers

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

RP Ken Giles

Former team: Houston Astros
New team: Toronto Blue Jays

(Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

RP Adam Warren

Former team: New York Yankees
New team: Seattle Mariners

(Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

RP Zach Duke

Former team: Minnesota Twins
New team: Seattle Mariners

(Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports)

RP Lance Lynn

Former team: Minnesota Twins
New team: New York Yankees

(Photo byJesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

C Wilson Ramos

Former team: Tampa Bay Rays
New team: Philadelphia Phillies

(Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

RP Brad Ziegler

Former team: Miami Marlins
New team: Arizona Diamondbacks

(Sam Navarro/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)

RP Ryan Pressly

Former team: Minnesota Twins
New team: Houston Astros

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

OF Tommy Pham

Former team: St. Louis Cardinals
New team: Tampa Rays

(Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

OF Cameron Maybin

Former team: Miami Marlins
New team: Seattle Mariners

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

SP Kevin Gausman

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: Atlanta Braves

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

SP Chris Archer

Former team: Tampa Rays
New team: Pittsburgh Pirates

(Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images)

2B Brian Dozier

Former team: Minnesota Twins
New team: Los Angeles Dodgers

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

RP Brandon Kintzler

Former team: Washington Nationals
New team: Chicago Cubs

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

RP Jake Diekman

Former team: Texas Rangers
New team: Arizona Diamondbacks

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

RP Aaron Loup

Former team: Toronto Blue Jays
New team: Philadelphia Phillies

(Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

2B Jonathan Schoop

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: Milwaukee Brewers

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

RP Darren O'Day

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: Atlanta Braves

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

RP John Axford

Former team: Toronto Blue Jays
New team: Los Angeles Dodgers

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

RP Keone Kela

Former team: Texas Rangers
New team: Pittsburgh Pirates

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

SP Tyler Glasnow

Former team: Pittsburgh Pirates
New team: Texas Rangers

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

OF Scott Schebler

Former team: Cincinnati Reds
New team: Atlanta Braves

(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)

SP Matt Wisler

Former team: Atlanta Braves
New team: Cincinnati Reds

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

OF Preston Tucker

Former team: Atlanta Braves
New team: Cincinnati Reds

(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SP Lucas Sims

Former team: Atlanta Braves
New team: Cincinnati Reds

(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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