Report: Archer returning to Rays on 1-year, $6.5M deal

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Chris Archer is heading back to the Trop.

The right-hander agreed to a one-year, $6.5-million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan. It will also contain some small incentive clauses, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Completion of the deal is pending a physical.

The 32-year-old missed all of 2020 after undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in June. He's expected to be ready for the start of the coming season, according to Topkin.

The veteran became a star in Tampa Bay after making his big-league debut with the Rays in 2012. He made two All-Star teams during his first stint with the Rays and finished fifth in AL Cy Young voting in 2015.

The Rays sent him to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the 2018 trade deadline for outfielder Austin Meadows, right-hander Tyler Glasnow, and prospect Shane Baz. The trade has since come to be known as one of the most lopsided in recent history. As Archer struggled in Pittsburgh, Meadows and Glasnow blossomed into stars in Tampa.

His most recent season (2019) was the worst of his career. Archer posted a 5.19 ERA, 5.02 FIP, and 1.41 WHIP over 23 starts with the Pirates while battling thumb and shoulder injuries.

If fully healthy, Archer will presumably slot in at the back of the Rays' rotation for his comeback season.

For his career, Archer owns a 60-80 record with a 3.86 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 1.25 WHIP, and 1,349 strikeouts across 1,235 innings. He ranks second in Rays history with 1,146 strikeouts.

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Report: Archer returning to Rays on 1-year, $6.5M deal
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