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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Chris Archer out until 2021 due to thoracic outlet surgery

Bad news for Chris Archer and the Pittsburgh Pirates: the team just announced that Archer has been shut down until 2021 after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery.

Thoracic outlet surgery, which has become more common in baseball in recent years, is nothing approaching routine. Lots of pitchers have never come back from it or have not come back in anything approaching their previous form.

Archer was shut down late in the 2019 season due to shoulder discomfort. This after posting a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, in 119.2 innings pitched. He pitched in two innings during spring training.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 03, 2020 at 10:17 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chris archer

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   1. Rally Posted: June 03, 2020 at 11:03 AM (#5955079)
Trading for Archer looks a lot like the Orioles trading for Glenn Davis. They gave up Steve Finley, Curt Schilling, and Pete Harnisch.

Davis had 0.7 WAR left in 3 injury plagued seasons with the Orioles. The other three combined for about 142 after the trade. None were established MLBers yet, but Harnisch would pitch 11 more years and the other two lasted into their 40's.

Trading any one of these guys for Davis would have been a disaster, let alone all 3. Trading 2 of the players by themselves for Archer looks like a disaster, with jury still out on the third as he's still in A ball.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: June 03, 2020 at 11:07 AM (#5955081)
That stinks. Is he done? Harvey was done.
   3. Rally Posted: June 03, 2020 at 11:14 AM (#5955082)
Probably not done, as in won’t pitch again. But may never be effective again. Not that he was all that effective last year.

I assume he’ll be a free agent. Pirates hold an 11m option on him, but even if they might consider that in normal times it’s hard to take that chance when we don’t know what the revenues will look like in 2021.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 03, 2020 at 11:15 AM (#5955083)
At least there will be plenty of opportunities for him as a broadcaster, if he's interested.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: June 03, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5955085)
Zero chance anyone wants Archer for 11m, let alone the Pirates. There is going to be a mass exodus of veterans from the ranks of active players. 2021, if it happens, will have an unprecedented percentage of rookie playing time.

What's the record? Presumably an expansion year or a war year.
   6. Itchy Row Posted: June 03, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5955093)
I don't know about playing time, but here are the number of players by year who:
1. qualified as rookies (including having appeared in previous seasons)
2. were in their first year
3. made an appearance (all players)

Over the last few years, it looks like about 30% of players have been rookies and a little less than 20% were in their first seasons.

   7. caspian88 Posted: June 03, 2020 at 12:28 PM (#5955106)
Glenn Davis was drafted five times? That's gotta be a record, right?

On top of that, Davis was drafted in 1983 by the Rangers when he was playing for Columbus in the Astros' system? Was that a joke selection (42nd round, penultimate pick of the entire draft), or is Glenn Davis the Astro being confused with someone else named Glenn Davis?
   8. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 03, 2020 at 12:36 PM (#5955108)

Glenn Davis was drafted five times? That's gotta be a record, right?


Matt Harrington was drafted five times.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: June 03, 2020 at 12:41 PM (#5955110)
That's gotta be a record, right?


Trump tied it.
   10. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 03, 2020 at 12:44 PM (#5955112)
I think that happened to several players in the early 80s, because there was the January draft in addition to the June draft.

Oddibe McDowell was drafted 6 times!
   11. Itchy Row Posted: June 03, 2020 at 12:47 PM (#5955113)
On top of that, Davis was drafted in 1983 by the Rangers when he was playing for Columbus in the Astros' system? Was that a joke selection (42nd round, penultimate pick of the entire draft), or is Glenn Davis the Astro being confused with someone else named Glenn Davis?
Maybe this guy.
   12. Scott Lange Posted: June 03, 2020 at 12:48 PM (#5955114)
Trump tied it.

Primey.
   13. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 03, 2020 at 12:54 PM (#5955117)
I'm not sure how the MLB draft worked back then - there was the June draft, the June secondary draft, the January draft and the January secondary draft. I think you could also take another team's player AFTER he had been drafted as free agent compensation.

One of the six teams that drafted Oddibe McDowell was the Twins in 1983. One of only 3 picks by the Twins in 1983 who made the majors at all, all 3 of whom declined to sign with the Twins (Tim Belcher, Bill Swift and McDowell). Possibly the worst draft effort of all time. I believe the Twins were flat broke at the time.
   14. Itchy Row Posted: June 03, 2020 at 12:59 PM (#5955119)
One of the six teams that drafted Oddibe McDowell was the Twins in 1983. One of only 3 picks by the Twins in 1983 who made the majors at all, all 3 of whom declined to sign with the Twins (Tim Belcher, Bill Swift and McDowell). Possibly the worst draft effort of all time. I believe the Twins were flat broke at the time.
And that was with the first pick. Belcher was the first overall pick of the June draft, and McDowell was first in the secondary draft. Swift was the first pick in the second round of the regular draft.
   15. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 03, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5955122)
They did sign their 3rd round pick, one "Chris Forgione", and their 4th round pick, Mike Trout's father Jeff.
   16. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 03, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5955123)
There's no way the across-the-board quality of the Archer haul will equal the Davis haul, but a few things:

1) When Pete Harnisch is easily the worst part of a three-player return, that's pretty amazing. He won 95 games with an ERA+ of 107 after the trade (not all for Houston). There aren't a lot of young players you get in a trade that do better than that.

2) This was the second trade where Schilling was part of a package were the team trading for the veteran didn't win the deal over time. The Red Sox got Mike Boddicker for Brady Anderson and Schilling. Boddicker was generally very good for Boston in those 2 1/2 years (39-22, 118 ERA+), and they got basically what they wanted - two division titles in his three seasons. They arguably wouldn't have won either title without Boddicker (a couple of sub-90 win division titles by 1 and 2 games, respectively). That's a lot of young talent to give up, though...

3) Generally speaking, do these "several-strong-prospects-for-one-established-star" kind of trades happen less often now than they did 20 or 40 years ago? It strikes me that, not unlike the immense value of getting a star quarterback on a rookie contract in the NFL, the value of an above-average pitcher or starting position player in their first several years in the bigs is worth an immense amount to most teams.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 03, 2020 at 01:26 PM (#5955128)
Generally speaking, do these "several-strong-prospects-for-one-established-star" kind of trades happen less often now than they did 20 or 40 years ago?


The Rockies have made two of these trades in the past decade, in the Tulowitzki and Ubaldo deals. Both of those trades ended up being more or less nothing-for-nothing.
   18. Sunday silence Posted: June 03, 2020 at 03:53 PM (#5955148)
I remember at the time asking Walt about the trade. Archer's bottom line seemed to be that he was about an average pitcher who had some good seasons in the past. BUt why all that for him? Walt cited some peripheral stats, but I didnt really see that as worthy of anything .
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 03, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5955150)
So has anyone successfully come back from this type of surgery?
   20. Rally Posted: June 03, 2020 at 04:12 PM (#5955156)
If Archer had stayed healthy and performed as he had been with TB, the Pirates would have had 3 1/3 seasons of a slightly above average starter at less than market value.

My recollection is that the Pirates might have been willing to overpay thinking they were closer to a playoff spot and Archer might put them over, and that they collapsed after the trade in spite of getting him. Looking at the record doesn't quite back that up, they were 56-52 on 7-31, and finished 3 games over .500. Not a good finish, but not something like the 2011 Red Sox, playing 1 game under .500 is in the normal range for a team that was basically a .500 team to start with.

On the day of the trade they were 6 back of the division lead and 3 back of the second wild card. They ended up 13 and 9 games back respectively. Not a collapse, just a failure to catch fire.

Anyway, Archer was perceived as a valuable asset, but not anywhere near worth what Glasnow (better pitching results and more team control, though has his own injury troubles) or Meadows (30 homer bat, runs well, hits for average, also more team control) are worth individually.

The deal only makes sense if the Pirates thought Glasnow was just a bullpen arm and Meadows was at best a platoon or backup guy. Given their high ranks for multiple years by the various prospect ratings, and Meadows' high draft status, these were not common opinions.
   21. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 03, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5955159)
So has anyone successfully come back from this type of surgery?
Its not like TJS, but some pitch again:
The track record of pitchers coming back from TOS surgery, which typically involves the removal (or partial removal) of a rib in order to alleviate pressure on nerves in the shoulder/armpit area, is rather poor overall. Matt Harvey, Tyler Thornburg, Tyson Ross, Nate Karns, Matt Harrison, Carter Capps, Andrew Triggs and Kyle Zimmer are among the players to have undergone the surgery in recent years. None of that bunch has found much success upon returning. That said, recently retired righty Chris Young attributed TOS surgery to salvaging his career, and we’ve seen other success stories in Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia and Clayton Richard. It’s not an insurmountable hill to climb, but a TOS procedure is one of the more ominous arm operations a pitcher can undergo.
Not that encouraging.
   22. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 03, 2020 at 04:38 PM (#5955160)
Possibly the worst draft effort of all time. I believe the Twins were flat broke at the time.


There are probably a lot of contenders for this... Here's one:

Reds 2001 draft. They took Jeremy Sowers #1 because they knew he wouldn't sign. He didn't. He later signed with the Indians, and had a nothing career. The only other player the Reds drafted that year that even got a cup of coffee in the majors was Nick Markakis (the Reds drafted him in 2001 and 2002 and he signed neither time). So, a whole draft of nothing.

In fact, if the Reds hadn't gotten incredibly lucky on a 2nd round high school catcher out of the Toronto area in 2002, they would basically get nothing out of the 1999-2003 drafts. Joey Votto helped cover a lot of draft sins though...
   23. Walt Davis Posted: June 03, 2020 at 06:21 PM (#5955182)
I don't have a clue what I said at the time, if somebody wants to dig it out, feel free.

Methinks we doth over-rate TB's return at this point in time. Glasnow was awesome for 8 starts -- then was out for 4 months, then they gave him 12 innings in 3 starts in Sept. Prior to those awesome starts, his results had been pretty blah (great K rate). Let's see if he can make it to 150 innings in a season. Meadows hit very well last year but appears to be a negative defensively (Rfield very down on him, statcast just puts him below-average).

Obviously Archer did not work out for the Pirates so it will almost certainly end up a bad trade for them. But let's wait a bit before we put it in the Glenn Davis territory.

#16.3 ... Probably but then we need to go back over past trades and rate them based on how those players were perceived at the time. Schilling had been in the majors a bit, turning 24 and Houston traded him on for Jason Grimsley. Harnisch had over 300 innings with terrible results and peripherals and was turning 24. Finley was turning 26 and had 1.5 seasons of terrible hitting. That's still a lot of talent to give up but it's not a prospects trade really and it's not clear to me that's "more" than some trade where a team might give up a top-5 plus a top-100 plus a guy.

Also these days it's clear that teams are willing to consider extra salary relief (e.g. David Price) in place of prospects when trading a star.

Glenn Davis bears some resemblance to Paul Goldschmidt (Goldschmidt definitely better). The Cards gave up Carson Kelly -- a C with 3 brief stints, reached around #50 on the prospect lists, had a very nice season as half-time starter; Luke Weaver -- 200 IP, was #50 at one point, had a season kinda similar to Glasnow's including the injury but not as good; an older minor-league throw-in with decent numbers and a competitive balance pick.
   24. Sunday silence Posted: June 03, 2020 at 06:33 PM (#5955183)
In theory it made some sense to the Pirates to be trading from a position of strength to fill a need. They seem to have a plethora of OFs so why not deal a promising one?

But where I have an issue is that they were barely a playoff team they are giving up a lot to get one marginal who can what help them make a wild card? I could understand it better if they were a playoff bound team and one extra decent SP could get them to the world series. Then I get giving away more to get a short term boost. But the tradeoff here doesnt quite make it for me, trade a bit more just to get to the WC and keep fans in the seats for a few more weeks. Too much of a cost.

it goes back to a larger issue I have with the PIT. Is that any single one of their trades can be analyzed in a vacuum and one can always make some sort of rationale for it. BUt when you study the overall strategy over the last decade there isnt one. Or much of one. It amounts to developing talent and then giving it away before it costs more in salary, and in turn get some more cost controlled talent so we can stay above 500 and maybe generate some interest. There's no long term plan to build a strong pennant winning team at cost of tanking a season or two.

LIke dealing MaCutheon. That actually made sense to me I sensed a downward turn after his injury; and the PIT needed to rebuild. THat was fine. BUt why didnt they make a stronger push when he was at his peak and the leader of an OF corps that was perhaps the best in baseball for a year or two. Instead the get Ike Davis or whatever at the trade deadline..
   25. Zonk WARRIORS ALONE! Posted: June 03, 2020 at 06:44 PM (#5955185)
That's a shame... I like Chris.

Fans of my OOTP dynasty over at the other place know this -

But in my OOTP21 dynasty, I managed to trade Yu Darvish to shed some salary and picked up Chris Archer to fill his rotation spot.

I'm currently at the ASB - and Archer is 16-1 with a 2.51 ERA ad was just named the 2020 ASG Starter for the NL. He's failed to go 6 innings in just 2 starts all year. His only loss was a game where he went 7, but gave up 1 run and lost to a Luis Castillo one-hitter. He's outpitching his FIP a bit, but he's a been a workhorse, a stopper, and an ace.

So.... well... sorry, Chris, for stealing any good luck for you in my fantasy "while I wait..." shenanigans.

   26. Walt Davis Posted: June 04, 2020 at 01:19 AM (#5955248)
Is that any single one of their trades can be analyzed in a vacuum and one can always make some sort of rationale for it. BUt when you study the overall strategy over the last decade there isnt one.

'Tis a Pirate tradition.

BUt why didnt they make a stronger push when he was at his peak and the leader of an OF corps that was perhaps the best in baseball for a year or two.

This seems a bit harsh. They won 94 games in 13 and 98 in 15, unfortunately neither good enough to win the division but those are big pushes. In 2013, they made no moves at the deadline but they did make waiver trades for Marlon Byrd (who tore it up) and Morneau (who was blah). That year both the rotation and bullpen were strong. In 2015, they traded for Aramis Ramirez (too late), Blanton (outstanding results), JA Happ (outstanding results) and Soria (outstanding results). Hard to see how they could have done better than that even if a big chunk was probably luck.

In the 2013-14 offseason they did indeed trade for Ike Davis but gave up two guys who never made the majors so it didn't push them forward but didn't push them back. In the 2014-15 offseason, they re-signed AJ Burnett and Liriano and signed Kang which is a pretty serious push. I have no idea who else was available in their price range those offseasons.

And of course to make big deadline deals you need big talent to trade -- which I don't know if they had or not.

So it's certainly possible to argue that they didn't do enough to build off of 2013 but the 2015 offseason and trading deadline look like a very serious push.
   27. Sunday silence Posted: June 04, 2020 at 02:10 AM (#5955252)
Well thats a nice analysis
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2020 at 09:46 AM (#5955275)

Reds 2001 draft. They took Jeremy Sowers #1 because they knew he wouldn't sign. He didn't. He later signed with the Indians, and had a nothing career. The only other player the Reds drafted that year that even got a cup of coffee in the majors was Nick Markakis (the Reds drafted him in 2001 and 2002 and he signed neither time). So, a whole draft of nothing.


The Royals had a terrible draft that same year. They had the #9 pick and chose Colt Griffin, a HS kid new to pitching who had no idea where it was going, but he threw 100 mph. He never got past AA and his career was over at age 22. Only one other player in their draft class spent more than 10 games in the big leagues, Angel Sanchez, who had -1.4 career WAR.

That looks like a pretty poor draft class in general. The first round had Joe Mauer, David Wright, Mark Teixeira, and Mark Prior, and then a bunch of role players. Six of the top 15 picks never even reached the big leagues and only 8 of the top 44 picks accumulated 5+ career WAR.
   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2020 at 09:53 AM (#5955277)
Generally speaking, do these "several-strong-prospects-for-one-established-star" kind of trades happen less often now than they did 20 or 40 years ago?


My impression is that they were fairly rare 40 years ago, as teams wanted MLB players for stars, became commonplace 20 years ago when small market teams looked for younger, cheaper players, and are becoming rarer again because all teams overvalue prospects.

I took a look at the best prospect hauls from 2000-2017 and the top deals were:

5. Mark Teixiera/Ron Mahay to the Braves for Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Beau Jones
4. Josh Beckett/Mike Lowell/Guillermo Mota to the Red Sox for Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Harvey Garcia, and Jesus Delgado
3. Zack Greinke to the Brewers for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Odorizzi, and Jeremy Jeffress
2. Curtis Granderson to the Yankees in a 3-team trade for Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, and Daniel Schlereth
1. Bartolo Colon to the Expos for Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, and Brandon Phillips
   30. PreservedFish Posted: June 04, 2020 at 09:57 AM (#5955278)
The Royals had a terrible draft that same year. They had the #9 pick and chose Colt Griffin, a HS kid new to pitching who had no idea where it was going, but he threw 100 mph.


Sounds like they were trying, at least. Did the Reds really just intentionally make a worthless pick? I don't remember that. I do remember when Brian Sabean signed a FA (Michael Tucker?) prior to the arb deadline specifically in order to lose his first round pick. That caused some outrage in stathead circles.
   31. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: June 04, 2020 at 09:57 AM (#5955279)
sample size = 1, but (as I've mentioned before) I interacted with Archer once -- he seemed like a very nice, personable guy.
   32. Rally Posted: June 04, 2020 at 01:13 PM (#5955328)
I didn't know Sowers was drafted intentionally so they wouldn't sign him. I remember him being highly regarded out of high school and college, not a hard thrower but a guy who really knew how to pitch and had excellent control.

I had forgotten whether he had a MLB career or not. Wasn't a good one, ERA over 5.00, but he did pitch 400 innings over 4 years for the tribe. So he's well ahead of the draft picks that never made it at all. He was outstanding in the minors, moved quickly, and had a solid debut season, but problem is he didn't strike anybody out and was quite a bit lucky. That luck was not there the next 3 seasons.

In such a case, you always have to look a year beyond. Drafting a guy who doesn't sign doesn't hurt you if you get a better player next year with a comp pick. In this case, the guy they took with the comp pick didn't make MLB. As for a more recent example though, Houston benefited greatly from not signing Brady Aiken with the 1-1 pick, getting Bregman as a reward for their "efforts".
   33. Walt Davis Posted: June 04, 2020 at 06:49 PM (#5955399)
3. Zack Greinke to the Brewers for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Odorizzi, and Jeremy Jeffress

And even here ... Cain was already entering his age 25 season when this trade was made, not exactly a prospect, and didn't become the guy we know until age 28 (and entering arb at 29). Escobar was turning 24 but already had over a season as the full-time starter. Then the genuine prospects -- Odorizzi didn't make the majors for good for another 4 years (with Tampa in the Shields trade); Jeffress didn't stick until 5 years away. And as it turned out, the Brewers got Jeffress' best work anyway and have gotten over 9 WAR from Cain the last two seasons. (Maybe 6 WAR in non-Rfield land.)
   34. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: June 05, 2020 at 11:45 AM (#5955510)
They took Jeremy Sowers #1 because they knew he wouldn't sign. He didn't.

Yeah, I remembered thinking teams should do this more often - it was a smart move by Cincy. (To be clear, they cleared the plan with Sowers first.)
   35. CFBF's Overflowing Pathos Posted: June 05, 2020 at 12:51 PM (#5955534)
I had a chance to talk to Sowers a couple times in 2006 when he was a rookie with the Indians and I was an intern with MLB.com. I really liked him - smart guy, thoughtful, dry sense of humor. He actually threw back-to-back complete game shutouts that season, and everyone was really excited about him. Looking back, the peripherals just weren't there, as #32 points out - he struck out 3.6 per nine in his first season, which...oof.

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