Worst Trade In Recent Memory: Pittsburgh Pirates

To this day, the Pittsburgh Pirates have to be kicking themselves over this trade.

The Chris Archer trade was a notorious deal that occurred in July 2018 between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

At the time of the trade, Chris Archer was a talented starting pitcher for the Rays, who had been a two-time All-Star and had received Cy Young award votes in three seasons.

Despite his success (3.71 ERA over 7 seasons), the Rays were in the process of rebuilding and looking to acquire young talent.

The Pirates, who were in the playoff hunt and looking to upgrade their starting rotation, agreed to trade a package of prospects in exchange for Archer. However, the package they gave up was considered by many to be excessive, and the trade has since been widely criticized as a major mistake.

In exchange for Archer, the Pirates gave up outfielder Austin Meadows, pitcher Tyler Glasnow, and a player to be named later (who would later be revealed as pitcher Shane Baz).

Meadows and Glasnow were both highly regarded prospects who had shown promise in limited MLB action, and many observers were surprised to see them included in the trade.

Following the trade, Meadows and Glasnow both blossomed into stars for the Rays. Meadows was named an All-Star in 2019 and hit .291 with 33 home runs that season, while Glasnow has established himself as one of the top pitchers in the league.

In addition, Baz has developed into one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball, and made his MLB debut last season. He's currently out for the 2023 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, but he's expected to be a core rotation piece for the foreseeable future in Tampa Bay.

Meanwhile, Archer struggled with the Pirates, posting a 6.79 ERA in 33 starts with the team before being sidelined by injury. He was eventually traded back to the Rays in August 2020 for a player to be named later.

Overall, the Archer trade is widely regarded as one of the worst in recent MLB history, as the Pirates gave up three valuable young players for a pitcher who was past his prime and struggled to adapt to his new team.

It serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of overvaluing established talent and underestimating the potential of young prospects. Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports