The Minnesota Twins have signed right-handed starter Chris Archer to a one-year contract, the team announced. Archer’s contract is worth at least $3.5 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Additionally, it includes incentives that could push its total value to $9.5 million, as well as a $10 million mutual option.
Archer, 33 years old, was limited to six appearances last season with the Tampa Bay Rays. He threw 19 innings and accumulated a 4.66 ERA (86 ERA+) and a 2.63 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Just two of his appearances occurred before August. Archer, who had missed the entire 2020 season recovering from surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, was again sidelined by health woes. He required trips to the injured list first for forearm tightness and later because of left hip discomfort.
Archer is a two-time All-Star performer who has struggled since being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2018 season. The Twins can only hope that pitching coach Wes Johnson can help him regain some of his past form.
With Archer in tow, the Twins figure to trot out a starting rotation that includes Sonny Gray, Dylan Bundy, and Joe Ryan. Minnesota has been rumored to have interest in Oakland Athletics starters Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea, but it’s unclear if either remains in play. If not, the Twins do have a slew of young internal options to fill out their rotation with: Bailey Ober and Josh Winder are among the names to keep an eye on.
The Twins have had a busy offseason on the position player side of things, too. Most recently, the Twins landed free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa on a three-year deal (with opt outs after the first and second season). Minnesota has also traded catcher Mitch Garver, third baseman Josh Donaldson, and shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, receiving third baseman Gio Urshela and catcher Gary Sánchez in return.