Dodgers sign starting pitcher but for completely different role in notable reunion

Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees
Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

And here we go! The Los Angeles Dodgers kicked off the Winter Meetings with a newsworthy addition. Yes, a big name of yesteryear. Somebody who, in theory, could still provide depth to an ailing starting rotation/pitching staff.

But, uh, that's not what this particular (now former?) player signed up for. On Monday, Chris Archer, who has pitched in 10 MLB seasons with the Rays, Pirates and Twins, has joined the Dodgers front office as a special assistant.

Archer was with the Rays during Andrew Friedman's time as head honcho in Tampa and he was also teammates with Dodgers assistant GM Brandon Gomes. Talk about a unity of forces. And as someone who pitched as recently as 2022, it's worth wondering what kind of pull Archer might have on the player side of things.

Though he didn't play in 2023 after his 2022 season ended with yet another injury, it doesn't appear Archer's pitching days are over. He hasn't yet announced his retirement and Jack Mackey, the man who reported the news, indicated Archer is pursuing non-playing opportunities for the time being.

Assuming he's healthy enough for 2024, perhaps if the Dodgers experience another pitching exodus due to injuries and off-field issues, Archer can change out of his suit and into uniform to eat some innings.

Dodgers sign Chris Archer as special assistant to front office

Sadly for Archer, his once-promising career essentially torpedoed after his 2017 All-Star campaign. He averaged 200+ innings for four straight seasons in Tampa before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates (yikes, the Tyler Glasnow deal) and all but officially falling off the face of the earth.

He's made just 58 starts from 2018-2023 and was not at all himself (4.92 ERA with Pirates, 4.56 ERA with Twins with similarly bad FIPs and elevated WHIPs). But he's a very insightful baseball mind, which shouldn't get lost in the shuffle of his countless injuries that kept him off the field.

The Dodgers clearly value that, having brought him on board as the Winter Meetings begin. Archer was seen in the lobby of the hotel in Nashville, seemingly ready to get to work.

Can Archer help the Dodgers progress toward a package deal for Glasnow and Randy Arozarena? Or was this something Friedman and Gomes viewed as a no-brainer fit for the busiest time of the year?

Either way, we can't knock the Dodgers for trying. At the very least, he can help properly assess the glut of starting pitchers the team is likely eyeing to repair their desolate rotation.