Archer (shoulder) had his $11 million club option for 2021 declined by the Pirates on Saturday. The 32-year-old missed the shortened 2020 season after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery in June, and the Buccos opted to pay the $250,000 buyout rather than pick up next year's option. Archer was acquired from Tampa Bay ahead of the 2018 trade deadline and had a 4.92 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 203:73 K:BB over 172 innings across his season and a half in Pittsburgh, so he'll be entering free agency as somewhat of a reclamation project.
Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Wednesday that Archer (shoulder) remains at his offseason home in California and is focusing on regaining his range of motion and strength, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. The Pirates will continue to check in with Archer periodically over the next two months while he recovers from season-ending thoracic outlet syndrome, but he'll likely be on his own in the rehab process come November, when Pittsburgh will almost certainly decline his $11 million team option for 2021. Even if his recovery from surgery proceeds as anticipated, the two-time All-Star will likely have to settle for a low-cost, one- or two-year deal after posting a 5.19 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 2019.
Archer (shoulder) was placed on the 60-day injured list Monday. He will miss the entire season after undergoing surgery to relieve symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome. Chad Kuhl and Steven Brault (shoulder) appear to be the top two options to win the fifth starter's spot.
Archer underwent surgery Tuesday to relieve symptoms of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome and has been ruled out for the 2020 season. Archer wasn't known to be dealing with any physical concerns during spring training before MLB suspended its season in mid-March, so the assumption is that his thoracic outlet symptoms are related to the right shoulder discomfort he experienced last August. The Pirates are optimistic that Archer will make a full recovery from surgery before the 2021 season, but his rehab will be worth tracking throughout the winter and during spring training next year. It's possible that Archer could find himself in a different uniform next season, as his contract contains a pricey $11 million team option for 2021 that the Pirates could buy out for just $250,000.
Archer hurled two scoreless innings in his spring training debut Friday, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out four against Toronto, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports. Archer was not only encouraged by his results, but also by his health. "I felt really good about what I accomplished today," he said. "Most importantly, I walked away healthy. I'm really happy about that." The righty had previously been bothered by neck tightness. He's in competition with Joe Musgrove for the team's Opening Day assignment in Tampa Bay on March 26.
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