It’s a minor signing and I’ll give it only the attention of a minor signing. But it’s only the second free agent deal of the offseason so far (Andrew Heaney was the first)*, despite all the chatter about the possibility of some early moves, so it still stands out to me.
The Rockies are bringing back back newly-converted reliever Jhoulys Chacin on a one-year deal:
Jhoulys Chacín is returning to the #Rockies on a one-year deal. He first signed with the Rockies back in 2004 and reached 10 years of service time last season
— Danielle Allentuck (@d_allentuck) November 13, 2021
Jhoulys Chacin’s deal with the Rockies is for $1.25 million, per source.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 13, 2021
Chacin, 34, was a long-time effective starter from 2010 to 2018, mostly in Colorado, but in recent years was struggling to succeed in the rotation. So the Rockies converted him to the bullpen last year, and he posted a 4.34 ERA over 64.1 IP (9% better than league average after park adjustment), and a 4.63 FIP (4% worse than league average). Perfectly solid performance, and as a long-time Rockie, I imagine there was some comfort there that dictated an early offseason move.
That said, this tier of reliever tends not to get a guarantee like that, even only a bit over a million. Good for Chacin, and I suppose good for the Rockies to retain any successful pitching they can.
Jed Hoyer recently reminded folks that the Cubs are still looking at veteran relievers, even though they will lean heavily on internal options in 2022. I don’t think I’d take too much away from this signing, though, in terms of the cost of older, average-ish relievers. For one thing, again, that Rockies connection is a bit unique. For another thing, the Cubs have shown they can get successful relief performances out of reclaimed veterans on lesser/non-guaranteed deals.
*(I guess you could say third, since the Yankees re-signed lefty Joely Rodriguez, but that came right after declining an option, so it felt more like a directly negotiated decision in tandem with the option decline, as opposed to a guy who reached free agency, looked around, and then re-signed.)