Jesse Chavez was acquired by the Cubs from the Rangers July 19, 2018 for Ricky Tyler Thomas, a 22-year-old lefthander then at South Bend.
And Chavez proceeded to give the Cubs the best two and a half months of his career. He posted a 1.15 ERA, 0.795 WHIP and 1.5 bWAR in 39 innings. He struck out 42 and walked just five. (Not a misprint: five walks, a walk rate of 1.2 per nine innings.)
That was by far the best performance of Chavez’ career. And after the Cubs lost the wild-card game in October, it seemed as if the Cubs might be able to retain him:
Jesse Chavez just told a few of his teammates "If I'm not wearing this next year –points to Cubs logo on shirt– I'm done." https://t.co/1dnrmmrhIz— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) October 3, 2018
Well, Chavez won’t be wearing that logo in 2019, and he’s not done:
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
To which I say: Good for Jesse. That pays him more than four times what he made in 2018 ($1.75 million), and the likelihood that he’ll pitch as well as he did as a Cub is pretty small, considering he’s now 35.
He cashed in on that second half. I wish him and his freaky-looking glasses well with the Rangers, and the Cubs could see him as soon as Opening Day, as they’ll open on the road at Texas.
Meanwhile, the Cubs will search elsewhere to replace his production.