Andrew Chafin needs to be part of Oakland A’s 2022 bullpen

Sep 16, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Andrew Chafin (39) pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 16, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Andrew Chafin (39) pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /
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It is somewhat easy for Andrew Chafin to get lost amongst the other trade deadline acquisitions made by the Oakland A’s. Starling Marte has been a revelation, proving to be exactly the piece the A’s desperately needed atop their lineup. Josh Harrison and Yan Gomes have been solid performers – steady veteran players who have helped stabilize the lineup while providing depth where it has been needed most.

Chafin was a move that has also drawn praise, although not at the same level. It makes sense as he was brought in to be a middle reliever, helping to shore up a bullpen that had few options that Bob Melvin could trust.

Andrew Chafin proving his value for Oakland A’s

But he has been far more than that lately. It may be fair to say that, if the A’s do end up reaching the playoffs, Chafin will be a key reason as to why that happened. He has taken over the closer role for Lou Trivino after the A’s season long closer imploded to prompt such a change.

Despite having all of three saves prior to heading to the A’s, Chafin has been solid in that role. He has notched five saves since taking over in the ninth inning, posting a 1.46 ERA and a 1.054 WHiP in his 24.2 innings. Chafin has 23 batters with just five walks in that time, using his ground ball ways to solidify the ninth inning.

While it is unlikely that Chafin will be looked at as a potential closer in free agency, he is proving his value. He has been a solid middle reliever over the years, but has proven that he can be a viable option as a setup man. Meanwhile, he is likely to be relatively inexpensive should he hit the market, as there is a mutual option in his contract.

Chafin is exactly the type of reliever that the A’s have looked at over the years. He may be somewhat unconventional, the type of arm that can fly under the radar financially. But he can also provide great value for that contract, becoming one of the top relievers on his team.

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The Oakland A’s will need to replace several bullpen arms again in the coming offseason. Andrew Chafin needs to be a part of that 2022 picture.

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