9:11pm: Chacin’s contract is worth $1.75MM, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman. He rejected “significantly more money” from other teams because he felt the Padres offered the best opportunity (Twitter links).
The Padres will likely count on Chacin to eat innings in an otherwise thin and inexperienced rotation that has lately lost veteran arms like James Shields, Drew Pomeranz, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross. There should be no shortage of opportunities for Chacin in San Diego. As of this afternoon, they had Christian Friedrich (who has never posted an ERA below 4.80 in the big leagues) top their starting pitching depth chart; below him was Luis Perdomo, who had a 5.71 ERA, 6.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 while pitching as a Rule 5 player last season.
The 28-year-old Chacin began last season in a somewhat similar situation but on a minor league deal with the Braves, who later traded him to the Angels to plug their rotation, which was riddled with injuries. All told, Chacin ate 144 innings, posting a 4.81 ERA, 7.4 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. That line, of course, is somewhat underwhelming, and Chacin’s modest velocity and fairly recent history of shoulder trouble also limit his upside somewhat.
On the bright side, Chacin’s peripherals were a bit better than his ERA, and he gets his fair share of ground balls, with a 48.4 GB% last season. Before that, he managed to survive several seasons pitching in Coors Field, and spending two-thirds of one’s career with the Rockies and retaining a 3.94 ERA is no mean feat. Whatever his virtues, though, the Padres likely won’t expect Chacin to be perfect, only to help them get through what could be a tough season.