Oakland Athletics’ Trade Rumors: Jesse Chavez

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Oakland Athletics’ Rumors: Jesse on the Block

If you’re an Oakland Athletics fan, then you know Jesse Chavez wears his emotions on his sleeves… literally. The Victorville, Calif., native –despite his small frame – is a competitor and just seems to have that “bulldog mentality” on the mound when things are going well.

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Chavez was exceptional for the Green and Gold during the first two months of the 2015 season; tossing 52 innings — while surrendering just 14 runs, to go along with an impressive 42:14 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The right-hander appeared to be a vital piece in Oakland’s rotation, with Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir as the front-runners.

Even with his early success, Chavez has had some issues maintaining his durability over the course of a 162-game season. In fact, since June 23 the 32-year-old has pitched seven-plus frames in only two of his last 15 starts, along with six or more innings in just four of those appearances. This raises a concern for manager Bob Melvin and company moving forward.

However, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle published an article last week that hinted at the status of Chavez and his tenure in Oakland.

"“Unlikely to be in next year’s rotation: Saturday’s starter, Jesse Chavez, who is coveted by many teams for his versatility — there were several scouts in attendance specifically to see him Saturday — and who is a free agent after the 2016 season.”"

In the first-half, Chavez was exclusively linked to the Los Angeles Dodgers, although a deal could not be reached. His versatility is a plus, but he thrives out of the bullpen – demonstrated in his June 13, 2013 game against the New York Yankees. The right-hander pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings of one-hit baseball, and struck out seven en route to a 3-2 victory in front of 27,569 fans at the Coliseum.

Chavez carved through a potent Bronx Bombers lineup, which included the likes of Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Vernon Wells and Kevin Youkilis. From that moment on, the southern California native became a staple in the Athletics organization – which is known for taking these “restoration projects” and placing them in ideal situations to succeed.

With a surplus of young arms waiting in the wings, the Athletics shouldn’t have any issues parting with Chavez, thanks to the contributions of Chris Bassitt, Aaron Brooks, and southpaw Sean Nolin. Out of the three, Bassitt seems to be a prime candidate to break camp in the starting rotation next season. He’s sporting a 2.82 earned run average in 73 1/3 innings for the A’s. Bassitt, who was the 16th round draft pick in the 2011 major league draft, has also surrendered just 12 runs in games where he completes six innings or more.

Chances are all three make the rotation when 2016 rolls around, although nothing is certain with general manager Billy Beane.

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