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Twins sign veteran Chris Archer to shore up starting rotation

The righthander pitched fewer than 20 innings for Tampa Bay in 2021 while suffering from forearm tightness.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Editor's note: The video above first aired March 23, 2022. 

The Minnesota Twins signed veteran right-hander Chris Archer to a one-year contract Monday, a move to shore up a questionable starting rotation with a two-time All-Star coming off an injury-ruined season.

The 33-year-old Archer made five starts and one relief appearance for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021, posting a 4.66 ERA in 19 1/3 innings. He was sidelined for the majority of the season with tightness in his right forearm.

Archer has a career 3.87 ERA with 1,370 strikeouts in 1,254 1/3 innings and a .240 opponent batting average. He was third in AL Rookie of the Year voting for the Rays in 2013 and fifth in Cy Young Award balloting in 2015.

The Rays traded Archer at the 2018 deadline to the Pittsburgh Pirates. After missing the 2020 season due to injury, Archer returned to the Rays as a free agent last year.

RELATED: New starter Sonny Gray settles in with Twins

Archer could slot in Minnesota's rotation behind Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober and Dylan Bundy. Ober made 20 starts as a rookie last season, and Ryan made five starts in his debut. Gray was acquired in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, and Bundy was signed as a free agent after leaving the Los Angeles Angels.

The signing of Archer continues a pattern for the Twins of signing low budget, one-year "prove it" deals with players recovering from injury or down years. 

To open a spot for Archer on the 40-man roster, the Twins sent left-hander Lewis Thorpe outright to Triple-A St. Paul.

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