Dunlap: Archer Needs To Be Better Or Else ...

Colin Dunlap
May 16, 2019 - 7:18 am

© Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - It's crazy to hear Chris Archer talk about his lack of control and being exploited. 

Crazy to see him issue walk after walk. 

What's even crazier for me to hear, in the aftermath of another bad outing on Wednesday, is for him to say it was all so uncharacteristic. 

That's the thing --- and perhaps the most unpredictable thing in all of this --- is that it has been the norm with him in a Pirates uniform. It has been absolutely characteristic. He has, flatly, not been very good. That has been about the one thing you could count on from him. 

So that's why you have to start to think about the long-term future for the guy who was traded here among such fanfare with that promise of pitching well and that continuity of a non-expiring contract. 

Related: Archer Bounced In 4th, D-backs Rout Bucs 11-1

But, dare I say, could this end up being it for Chris Archer? 

That is to say, could this season be his last in a Pirates uniform? 

It says right here that if he doesn't pitch a whole, whole lot better the best option would be to cut him loose --- and that isn't even up for debate for a guy who has made 16 starts for the organization and just five of them have been quality starts. 

You see, Archer has a deal wherein he's due to make $9 million next season and then $11M for the 2021 season. The Pirates, however, hold team options for both of those seasons and could buy him out for $1.75M in 2020 and then the peanuts-in-baseball fee of $250,000 for the 2021 season. 

If he doesn't get a lot better between now and September, the prudent move is to let Archer walk in free agency. 

Certainly it has the potential to go down as one of the all-time terrible Pirates trades, but you have to do what you have to do --- and if Archer can't be a force in the rotation there's no way he should be a $20M expenditure over the next two seasons. 

To be sure, there still is time. 

There still is lots of time. 

Baseball fans are notoriously impatient and one of the most time-honored traditions of the game is failing to understand just how long a 162-game season is. 

With that, though, there's no denying Archer hasn't been anywhere near as good as he was advertised. He must be better; the Pirates expected as much and they need as much over this and then the next few seasons. 

I never thought I would think this, but there's a real possibility a discussion could happen about buying him out and letting him move on. 

At this point, it's up to Archer to change all of that.  

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