Texas Rangers rumors: Jesse Chavez, free agent righthanded pitcher, and the Texas Rangers are close on a deal, with Jeff Passan saying it is a two year deal for around $8 million.
Chavez, 35, was originally a Rangers draft pick (42nd round in 2002), was traded for Kip Wells in 2006 when the Rangers were trying to make a push, bounced around with a variety of teams in a variety of roles, and ended up back in Texas on a one year deal last season. Chavez did a solid job out of the pen and ended up being dealt to the Chicago Cubs in July, 2018, for minor league pitcher Tyler Thomas.
Chavez excelled for the Cubs after the trade, putting up a 1.15 ERA and a 2.39 FIP in 39 innings, after being terrific for the Rangers after adopting a new arm slot on Mother’s Day, 2018. Levi Weaver notes that Chavez, who was with new manager Chris Woodward in 2012 and in 2016, had good things to say about Woodward.
Chavez has both started and relieved in the past, and I’m wondering if the Rangers have in mind using him as a potential opener, or else as a multi-inning reliever to be paired with other multi-inning relievers (of whom the Rangers have several) for potential bullpen games, in lieu of have five “true” starting pitchers. I imagine once this deal is official, we will have a better idea what the Rangers’ plans for him are.