ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays finally got the return they were looking for, prompting them to trade Chris Archer to the Pirates for outfielder Austin Meadows, right-hander Tyler Glasnow and a player to be named later.
"Arch has been pursued by a lot of clubs for a long time," Rays general manager Erik Neander said. "We've held a really high standard to consider any trade. We hit a point where we finally kind of crossed that bar and got things that were, we felt, in the best interest of the organization."
Archer's trade capped a busy day that saw the Rays trade catcher Wilson Ramos to the Phillies and acquire outfielder Tommy Pham and international bonus pool money from the Cardinals in exchange for three Minor League prospects: outfielder Justin Williams, the Rays' No. 14 prospect; left-hander Genesis Cabrera (No. 25) and right-hander Roel Ramirez.
"The Tampa Bay Rays organization has been really good to me," Archer said. "Whenever I first got the news, it was tough to hold back tears. Not because I'm sad that I'm leaving. I just hope that I left a lasting impression here."
Archer said that "throughout this whole process" the Rays have been upfront with him.
"They told me, 'The only possible way we move you any time in the near future is if we get our socks blown off,'" Archer said. "And they said that they felt like the Pirates backed up the truck."
Glasnow, 24, is 1-2 with a 4.34 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 34 relief appearances for the Pirates this season. He ranks third among National League relievers in strikeouts, behind Milwaukee's Josh Hader (99) and Colorado's Adam Ottavino (77).
Glasnow has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this season after making 22 appearances (17 starts) with the Pirates over the 2016-17 seasons. He will join Tampa Bay immediately.
"The raw ability, the pure stuff, is really special with this guy," Neander said. "And it's about harnessing it."
Meadows, 23, has appeared in 49 games (35 starts) over two stints with the Pirates this season, his first career Major League action. He is batting .292 with five home runs and 13 RBIs. Among National League rookies with at least 100 at-bats, he ranks third in batting average and slugging percentage. He will begin his stint in the Rays organization at Triple-A Durham, where Neander said the Rays want him to play every day to get comfortable before joining Tampa Bay.
Archer, 29, was one of few frontline starters available on the market at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and he shouldn't merely be a rental -- he is controllable through 2021, with team-friendly options of $9 million for 2020 and $11 million for 2021.
Archer departs the Rays after seven seasons, going 54-68 with a 3.69 ERA in 179 appearances (177 starts). He was the first pitcher in Rays history to make four consecutive Opening Day starts (2015-18) and tied James Shields (2008-10, '12) for the most Opening Day starts in club history. He ranks second in club history with 1,146 strikeouts, behind Shields (1,250), and ranks second in starts, third in innings pitched and fourth in wins.
"Leaving the team with Blake Snell, I think the Rays are in good hands," Archer said. "He's grown so much, I think he's ready to take on all the responsibility with being the guy. So, the organization's in a good state, especially what we got in return. [The Pirates'] best pitching prospect and their best position player prospect."
Tampa Bay began its busy day by trading for Pham late Tuesday morning.
"I woke up to [Cardinals president John Mozeliak] calling me early this morning with the news, so I was really shocked," Pham told MLB Network Radio. "That's the first thing, you know, you wake up to your boss calling you that you've gotten traded, it's shocking.
"...It hurts. More specifically, for me, I've been underperforming from my expectations, and I feel like if I had done my job better, [the Cardinals] wouldn't be so far down in the standings."
Pham, 30, is hitting .248 with 14 home runs and 41 RBIs.
"Just an exciting player that I'm not as familiar with as I should be, but he played in the NL Central and we're going to get to know him real quick," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He should be here tomorrow and he'll be in the lineup tomorrow."
Pham emerged with both his bat and his glove to break into St. Louis' lineup last season, hitting .306 and slugging .520 with 23 homers. Pham, 30, is making just $570,000 this season and is under team control through 2021. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter.
In March, details emerged that Pham rejected the Cardinals' offer of a two-year, $4 million contract extension.
Once the Rays' clubhouse opened at mid-afternoon, Ramos was headed to the Phillies for a player to be named or cash considerations.
Ramos, who was an American League All-Star for Tampa Bay this season, will bolster the Phillies' offense behind the plate once he returns from the 10-day disabled list following an injured left hamstring.
Ramos, 30, is hitting .297 with 14 home runs, 53 RBIs and an .834 OPS in 315 plate appearances for the Rays. Phillies catchers this season rank 11th in baseball with a .709 OPS.
Ramos has not played since July 14 because of the injury. But once he returns -- he told reporters he could be back in the next two weeks -- he will become the Phillies' frontline catcher, with Jorge Alfaro moving into a backup role.
"I love this organization," said Ramos of the Rays, who signed him prior to the 2017 season after he had knee surgery at the end of the '16 season while playing for the Nationals. "They trust me. They believed in me during a hard moment of my career. So, I'm very thankful with this organization. I have good moments here."
Tampa Bay entered Tuesday 21 games out of the American League East lead and 10 games back of the league's second Wild Card spot, so this would appear to be a move directed more toward the club's future beyond 2018.
Cash was asked if he felt the Rays were better after Tuesday's trade activity.
"Better right now?" Cash said. "It's tough to say -- you lose two guys, Chris Archer and Wilson Ramos. Are we better right now? In all fairness, probably not. We're getting young players. I think that would be stupid to say we're a better team after getting rid of two All-Stars. And we're getting guys who are very young. We're certainly optimistic that we're going to be better because of some of these deals."
The Rays traded six veteran players in the week leading up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and they have made 16 trades involving 40-man roster players since Jan. 1.