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The Cubs should trade Tyler Chatwood for Mark Melancon

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Maybe you’ll like this proposal better.

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Over the last couple of months I’ve posted several trade ideas for the Cubs to move Tyler Chatwood, who had a miserable 2018 and has $25 million left on his contract over the next two years.

Let’s review, shall we? Wade Davis? Nope, you didn’t like that one. Sonny Gray? I tried that one in August and again earlier this month. Russell Martin? I did that one just last Friday and you didn’t seem to care for that one either.

Now, I’ve got another Chatwood trade idea that not only would match up money-wise but could be a big boost to the Cubs bullpen.

The Cubs should swap Chatwood to the Giants for Mark Melancon.

The Giants signed Melancon to a four-year contract before the 2017 season. That was coming off a 2016 division series where bullpen meltdown helped lead to their loss to the Cubs. An established closer was seen as a way for the Giants to solve that problem.

That failed, spectacularly, in 2017. Melancon missed big chunks of that season with injuries, and he was ineffective when he did pitch. The Giants lost 98 games in 2017.

In early 2018, Melancon underwent a stem cell procedure to try to fix the arm issues that ruined his 2017 season. At that time it was revealed he had no ligament damage in his elbow, and he was eventually activated in June. His fastball velocity was down a bit in 2018, but not much different from what it was in his good 2015 and 2016 seasons.

He posted reasonably good numbers until his last four outings of the season, in which he got hit hard, making his overall season numbers look not so good. He gave up a lot of hits last year (48 in 39 innings), but just two home runs. His walk rate, which had been excellent up to 2018, jumped precipitously. By season’s end, Will Smith and Hunter Strickland were closing for the Giants and it doesn’t seem that they have plans to move Melancon back to the closer role, especially since they now seem ready for a rebuild. Chatwood could eat up some innings for a rebuilding team.

Melancon, if healthy, could provide an “alternate” closer choice to Brandon Morrow or Pedro Strop. Yes, “if healthy” is an open question. But Melancon is just two years removed from a really good 2016 season split between the Pirates and Nationals.

So the point of making this deal is giving Chatwood a chance elsewhere, while taking on someone else’s bad contract. Melancon is owed $28 million over the next two seasons, so the money’s almost equal. Melancon is about nine months younger than Morrow; neither pitcher seems likely to get another big-money deal after 2020.

Basically, I’m of the opinion that Tyler Chatwood cannot succeed with the Cubs and that it would be best for him to move on and try to resurrect his career with another team. In order to do that and not have the Cubs eat his contract, they’d have to take on a bad contract from another team.

This might just work. Even if it doesn’t, the Cubs would be out only a total of $3 million more over the next two years than they owe Chatwood.

I think it’d be worth a try.

Poll

Proposal: Tyler Chatwood for Mark Melancon...

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Do it! This one just might work!
    (515 votes)
  • 41%
    Nope. Next?
    (361 votes)
876 votes total Vote Now