As mentioned in this morning’s Oakland Athletics Roundup, the A’s have acquired free agent pitcher Rich Hill. This acquisition has started to drum up some trade rumors regarding Jesse Chavez. The Athletics do need to make some room on their 40-man roster for Hill. Chavez could be expendable and an easy trade pawn if other teams are interested in this versatile pitcher.
As reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, there are actually quite a few organizations interested in Chavez:
Chavez is no stranger to trade rumors. As noted by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Chavez has been a target for many teams for quite awhile. During the trade deadline this season, it was reported that there was some interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers who have been eyeing Chavez since last offseason. Then, in September, Slusser also announced that there were numerous scouts in attendance during Chavez’s start.
The interest in Chavez stems from his versatility as a pitcher. He has been both a starting pitcher and a reliever, and has excelled in both roles. Additionally, Chavez is relatively cheap. He is only expected to make $4.7 million in arbitration this offseason. Chavez could definitely be a reliable solution for teams looking for a backup starter or a long reliever.
It must be noted though that the A’s did decide to keep him through this year’s trade deadline even though Oakland had a massive fire sale. This could be because the starting rotation was battle numerous injuries and needed the extra backup support. Now that they will have more than enough healthy starters come the 2016 season, it may make sense for them to deal Chavez since it is unlikely that he will earn a starting rotation position.
However, there is also a case to be made for keeping him and assigning him to the bullpen. The A’s pen was one of the worst in the league in 2015 and definitely needs an extra boost. Chavez is an effective reliever and could help out the team in that area. If the Oakland Athletics truly want to build from within, it may make sense to keep Chavez as a reliever.
Even though Chavez has seven years of experience pitching in the MLB, he really only found success once he joined the Athletics in 2012. He has grown from a long reliever to a starter over those past four years and has been a reliable pitcher for the A’s during that time. The Oakland Athletics are going to have to make some tough decisions regarding Chavez this offseason. If they do decide to trade him, the Athletics are going to make sure they receive some quality players in return.