Here’s the report:
Source: Rangers and RHP Jesse Chavez are close to a deal.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 27, 2018
As you no doubt recall, the Cubs acquired Chavez from the Rangers at midseason, and the 35-year-old righty super utility pitcher went on to be just about the most reliable and productive arm in the bullpen from there on out. Bringing him back seemed like an obvious move for the Cubs, who have so many questions in the bullpen. And Chavez, himself, expressed a very strong interest in returning.
But he’s not returning. To the Cubs, anyway. He’s returning to the Rangers, and it’s not like he’s getting a monster contract:
Sources: Right-hander Jesse Chavez and the Texas Rangers are in agreement on a two-year deal in the $8 million range. @Feinsand had the sides close on a deal.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 27, 2018
This is going to yield a lot of disappointment – maybe disproportionate to his role, but justified nonetheless. The guy was really good, is versatile, fills a need, and wanted to come back. If a $4 million AAV is a problem for the Cubs right now for a guy like this, it’s going to be a nightmare of an offseason.
THAT SAID, it is of course possible that the Cubs simply didn’t like Chavez quite this much for internal evaluative reasons (and/or Shiraz Rehman, who left the Cubs for the Rangers, was Chavez’s biggest champion or something). Maybe the Cubs have other bullpen plans, and Chavez just wasn’t going to be a fit.
Does it sound like I’m rationalizing? It does. I am. I would very much have liked to see Chavez return on this deal.
We’ll see what happens in the bullpen this offseason for the Cubs. At least it’s a very robust free agent market.