Nov. 30: The Rangers have formally announced their two-year deal with Chavez.
Nov. 27: The Rangers are and right-hander Jesse Chavez are in agreement on a two-year contract worth a total of roughly $8MM, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Mark Feinsand of MLB.com had previously tweeted that the two sides were close to a deal. It’s the second straight offseason that the Sosnick, Cobbe & Karon client landed with the Rangers, as Chavez signed in Texas last offseason before being flipped to the Cubs in a midseason swap.
Chavez, 35, enjoyed the finest season of his career in 2018 after joining the Rangers as an unheralded, $1MM signing late in Spring Training. The journeyman righty posted a 3.51 ERA in 56 1/3 innings with Texas before joining the Cubs and turning into an absolute bullpen juggernaut. In 39 innings, Chavez allowed just five runs on 26 hits and five walks with 42 strikeouts out of Joe Maddon’s bullpen. He also chipped in a scoreless inning in the NL Wild Card Game against the Rockies.
Chavez’s unforeseeable ascension from mop-up man to a high-leverage hammer for Maddon was tied, in part, to a significant uptick in the usage of a cutter. With the Cubs, Chavez relied almost entirely on cutters and sinkers — largely abandoning his changeup, slider and curveball. The results speak for themselves and helped push a player who a year ago struggled to find a 40-man roster spot into a multi-year free-agent agreement (albeit at a relatively modest rate).
Many Cubs fans, of course, will remember Chavez’s proclamation that he’d retire if he didn’t return to the Cubs in 2019. That comment came in the emotional fallout of Chicago’s loss in the aforementioned Wild Card Game, though, and it’s also not clear how far the Cubs were willing to go in order to retain the righty. The Cubs, to the surprise of many, are reported to have substantial payroll concerns this winter — so much so that they felt it necessary to trade Drew Smyly before exercising Cole Hamels’ 2019 option. If funds are indeed as tight as it seems in Wrigleyville, then perhaps president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer simply balked at the notion of a multi-year deal for the 35-year-old journeyman on the heels of a career year.
For a Rangers pitching staff that was in shambles for much of the 2018 season, Chavez will bring some versatility to the table. He can certainly start for Texas, should rookie manager Chris Woodward desire, but Chavez can also be deployed in a more nontraditional setting. He’s already familiar with multi-inning relief stints, and for a Rangers club that seems likely to utilize the “opener” strategy in 2019 and beyond, there’d be some appeal in using Chavez as the “primary pitcher” to piggyback on an opener’s short stint. Alternatively, if the Rangers are able to amass enough depth elsewhere on the staff, Chavez could simply be used in a high-leverage capacity late in the game, helping to bridge the gap between the starters and burgeoning bullpen star Jose Leclerc.
Of course, if Chavez can replicate the success he experienced in 2018 (or at least approach those levels), he’ll quite likely find himself on the trade block once again this summer. The Rangers aren’t likely to find themselves even on the fringes of the playoff picture in 2019, given the team’s general dearth of pitching depth, which would make Chavez and any other short-term veteran assets fairly obvious trade candidates come June and July of next season.
Chavez ranked 44th on MLBTR’s list of the Top 50 free agents of the offseason and was projected to sign a two-year, $10MM contract. His comments prompted a whopping 39.6 percent of participants to pick Chavez to return to the Cubs in MLBTR’s Free Agent Prediction contest; only two percent of respondents correctly forecast his Rangers reunion.
“If I don’t return to the cubs I will retire”
From what I can tell, it’s something he “told a few of his teammates” that Marly Rivera heard and reported. So I don’t know that he even said it directly to a reporter or had any intent of being on the record.
Tim, do you think I should tone it down posting first post on here and/or posting in threads?
Respect your take more than anyone cuz you’re numero uno… the boss. Please let me know.
Oh no, please your royal majesty, don’t tone down your comments. I will so miss down voting every comment of yours.
Just scroll past it. No need for personal attacks
You are the same guy that said does not read any of my posts, and yet downvote each one. You grew up, yet?
No, keep reloading this site all day so you can be the first person to post on every thread. It’s terrific.
I have no idea why anyone would care if you posted first. You obviously love baseball. As long as your post are on topic and not nonsense you should post when and as much as you want.
X – I can only speak for myself (but am guessing there are many like me) – it’s more what you post than whether you are first or not. A majority of the time what you post its insightful, well informed and on topic. Its the times where you basically just state a few facts that are clearly in the article just to be able to be read – it comes off as attention seeking and unlikable. In fact the mere fact you posted in a thread asking Tim if you post too much instead of emailing him kind of proves my point. I have downvoted you, upvoted you and just non voted your posts. Don’t post high fiving yourself for posting first, avoid inane stats for the sake of stats and you’ll get less heat – and ignore those that hate just for the sake of hating
No need to tone anything down. If your posting first bothers anyone its their problem not yours.
I 100% agree with Cowboy. Xabial loves the game, and I enjoy his posts. Not sure why a few goons seem to target him regularly, but I recommend those people try and find some semblance of a life. If people would just TRY to be nicer to one another, this world would be a far better place.
Remove more rude, personal, irrelevant replies.. Try 🙂 Maybe 3 strikes you out policy, or have Mods volunteer remove baiting, off-topic, harassment..
That’s okay. I’d rather have Hamels anyway.
As a Cubs fan, I would like to quote Darth Vader, episode III: “Noooooooooooooooo”.
I don’t think the deals were mutually exclusive.
So much for the emotional, spur of the moment comments after the wild card game …haha…being sarcastic people
I was so sure he was gonna return to the cubs. I thought he said he would re-sign in Chicago or call it quits? What changed?
Guessing the $8M and a good night sleep after the WC game.
Ha! Good for him, that’s a nice last pay day for him…the 2nd year probably sold it
So much for “if I’m not wearing a cubs uniform next year, I’m retiring” business
Oh, I had hoped the Cubs would keep him!
Same here. 0-3 on my prediction list now
This one really disappoints me.
Signing 2 of Miller ,Robertson ,britton or kimbrel will make you forget about
They won’t sign any of them, let alone 2 of them
They lost Wilson Chavez Edwards is a lost case . Who do you think they sign? They get one of them.
Miller or Britton
Sadly I doubt they get any. They may try to trade for somebody, and failing that I expect them to fish in the much shallower end of the pool if not rely entirely on waiver claim guys and hope for Alzolay to make an impact a couple months into the season.
Tied at 0-3 !!
Another wrong guess
“If I’m not a Cub, I’m done.” Chavez in October. Perhaps he meant done being a Cub.
You’ll get over it. It’s Jesse Chavez.
Marge Schott's Lovechild
I had him signing with Houston. I guessed the correct state at least.
I’m curious…is anyone 3-for-3? Is anyone even 2-for-3?
I only got Donaldson to the Braves. I’m sure everyone put Chavez to the cubs after his comments
Well if 2% picked Rangers correctly and 6% picked Donaldson to ATL, chances are poor to get 2 out of 3. Not sure how picks were for Suzuki but I’d hazard a guess of 10% picked the Nats correctly. Likely with thousands of entries that a few have two correct, but I doubt anyone had a horseshoe up their butt and got three.
2-for-3. (One wrong, should’ve seen AA JD match lol)
why was he so bad with the angels? though that doesn’t seem unusual these days.
He started off fine then wore down. I don’t think he’s big/durable enough for a complete year as a starter. Once he transitioned to the bullpen, he was much better.
Of course, by the time the Angels moved him to the pen he was spent for the year.
I saw a clip somewhere where he said he has a serious problem putting on weight.
I’m guessing he had about 8 million reasons to reconsider the whole “Cubs For Life” thing.
More proof FAs can re-sign with teams that traded them, albeit this one took two year guarantee
Was hoping he’d go to his 10th different team in pursuit of the record of 13, but there’s still time.
94' World Champs!
If he produces results close to last season he will be traded. Unless Texas is willing to spend and bring in a couple of high end starters they will be lucky to win 80 next season. All said it’s a nice low risk high reward signing for the rangers.
nice payday for that fella
I’ve already forgotten most of my FA picks….
Why did this post twice?
Cmon Jesse you said retirement or Cubs. How can he jeopardize the integrity of the MLBTR contest like this?
AAAAAAAAND 0-3. Love it.
Regardless of whatever quotes, he doesn’t owe the Cubs any loyalty. It wasn’t a high price tag, if they valued him they could’ve signed him
The second year, for what could be an outlyin performance, was probably the catch
Well, at least i have lots of company at 0-3!
Isn’t pitching in Texas close enough to retirement? I kid….
I actually got this one right! But I had Donaldson to the Cardinals and Suzuki to the Braves so I’m 1/3 at the moment.
Bunch of haters on here today. All of you would turn your backs on your wife’s for 8 million… let alone a sports team that doesn’t care about you
Wives not wife’s
Texas traded him, so hy your logic, he should reject them
no, Cubs were the new wifey, the ex was in Texas..and I think he meant, “any of you would turn your back on your WIFE for blah blah”
I guess the Rangers felt 4 million was worth the prospects they’ll get when hes eventually traded again.
Good drop by the Cubs. Effective last year?Yes, , he was terrific. But at age 35, move on. Duensing was terrific 2 years ago at the same age, Cubs re-upped him, and not very good last year. I think the Cubs learned their lesson.
Strike thrower on a base on balls bullpen.
Good for him he makes more money elsewhere, but he wil;l be missed,
With all the trades between them, Cubs and Rangers are pretty much the same team at times.
He could be a starting pitcher option for them. Remember Mike Minor last year?
Crap, my first miss.
Not like I even know three things about him, tho…
That’s mighty generous of Chavez to make himself a good trade piece for us for the 2nd year in a row.
I think the Yankees should sign him (as every post begins).