With a three-game lead in the NL Central, the Chicago Cubs are looking to make moves to solidify themselves as a World Series contender. On Thursday, the Cubs made a move to acquire RHP Jesse Chavez from the Texas Rangers for MiLB pitcher Tyler Thomas, the team’s seventh-round draft pick in 2017.
Chicago Cubs Receive RHP Jesse Chavez from Texas Rangers
In a league where relief pitching is vital for postseason success, the Cubs may have found their guy. Chavez is 3-1 with one save and a 3.51 ERA in 30 relief outings with the Rangers. During those appearances, he has 50 strikeouts over 56 1/3 innings.
Cubs Manager Joe Maddon is fond of versatile players who make an instant impact, which is what Chavez will bring to the organization. Carrie Muskat with MLB.com shared Maddon’s comments on Chicago’s new addition:
“Good arm, versatile,” Maddon said of Chavez. “He can start and relieve. I’ve watched him and I know he’s had some great runs with different teams. The word that comes to mind is ‘versatility,’ that you can either start him or put him in the bullpen and he’s very good in both arenas.”
Filling a Need
The Cubs have become more of an offensive team since winning the World Series in 2016. Currently, they are second in the MLB in hits (882) and batting average (.266) and first in come from behind victories (31). Beyond Jon Lester, the Cubs starting rotation has to be better going forward. Kyle Hendricks has an ERA of 3.92 this season, Jose Quintana is at 3.96, Tyler Chatwood is at 5.04, and Yu Darvish is hurt. But the acquisition of Chavez provides a much-needed boost to the bullpen, which could jumpstart this team in the second half of the season.
In 2016, the Cubs acquired closer Aroldis Chapman at the trade deadline, the impetus that got the franchise its first World Series Championship in over 109 years. With the recent acquisition of Chavez, the Cubs are in prime position to have a sustainable bullpen that could give them a successful postseason run.
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