The Cubs have signed righty reliever Jesse Chavez, per his Instagram account. It is a minor league/split deal for the 38-year-old, who won a World Series title as a member of the Braves last season and will be a non-roster invitee. Cubs fans know Chavez best for his performance in 2018 after coming over in a trade from the Rangers and posting a 1.15 ERA with an elite 8.40 K/BB ratio in what was otherwise a disappointing season for the team.
It’s looking like we’ve signed Jesse Chavez, per his Instagram: pic.twitter.com/tQS7f4RYAp
— UK Cubs Fans (@ChicagoCubsUK) March 13, 2022
Chavez said after the season that he wanted to return, but a multi-year deal from the Rangers brought him back to Texas for two seasons. He struggle during that time and was particularly troubled during the COVID season, allowing way too many homers as he battled command issues. That all went away in 2021, however, as Chavez didn’t surrender a single dinger over 33.2 innings.
This could be a move to essentially replace Codi Heuer near the back end of the bullpen, though Chavez has to make the roster first. If nothing else, he offers a great deal more veteran leadership than one might expect from a young pitcher with much less experience. Mostly a cutter/sinker pitcher, Chavez doesn’t rely on high velocity and may offer something of a change of pace from some of the hard throwers the Cubs have in the arm barn already.
While it’s not the reunion many have been hoping for, this is a solid move to add depth to the staff.