Cubs Acquire Jesse Chavez From Rangers

Chavez has a 3.51 ERA in 30 appearances this season.

Bruce Levine
July 19, 2018 - 9:56 pm
Reliever Jesse Chavez

Jordan Johnson/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) The Cubs have acquired right-hander Jesse Chavez from the Rangers, they announced Thursday night.

In return, Chicago sent minor league left-hander Tyler Thomas back to Texas.

The 34-year-old Chavez has a 3.51 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with 50 strikeouts and 12 walks across 56 1/3 innings in 30 relief appearances this season. Chavez can start or be used out of the bullpen, manager Joe Maddon said after the Cubs' 9-6 win against the Cardinals on Thursday evening.

Chavez made 21 starts among his 38 appearances in 2017, when he had a 5.35 ERA and 1.40 WHIP for the Angels.

"He has a good arm and is versatile," Maddon said. "He can start and relieve. I have watched him over the years. He has had some great runs with different teams."

Chavez has a 4.61 ERA in his 11-year big league career. The Cubs mark the ninth organization that he's been a part of.

"He is a great guy," said Cubs closer Brandon Morrow, who was teammates with Chavez in Toronto. "He is low key and a good pitcher. That is why we picked him up. He has a rubber arm out of the bullpen. He is a swing (start or relieve) guy that can do a lot of things well. He is very versatile."

Chavez will be looked to help take the toll off a bullpen that's been strong but carried a heavy workload all season.

"All the bullpen guys we have called up have done a great job," reliever Steve Cishek said. "But to have a veteran presence like Chavez is going to be great as well. I am excited about it."

The addition of Chavez may just mark the start of trade activity for the Cubs leading up to the non-waiver deadline on July 31. The Theo Epstein-Jed Hoyer regime has a history of being aggressive in July when their team is contending, and the Cubs have stretched their lead to three games over the Brewers in the NL Central.

"Oh yes," Maddon said. "I don't think this will be the end of it. (Epstein and Hoyer) enjoy it too much."

The 22-year-old Thomas had a 2.88 ERA in 75 innings at Single-A South Bend this season. All but one of his 15 appearances were as a starter. 

The Cubs took Thomas in the seventh round of the 2017 amateur draft.