★ ★ ★
Oh, you wanted a full article. All right, I’ll give you one. Andrew Chafin is a lefthander who will turn 31 next June. He had a finger injury that limited his effectiveness in 2020, though he had been reasonably competent for the Diamondbacks the previous three seasons. Even so, he was never more than a 1 bWAR pitcher and seriously, you can find guys like that just about anywhere, and guys who throw harder than Chafin.
Even with the injury, Chafin’s fastball velocity, per Fangraphs, didn’t go down much this year. It’s been pretty consistent around 93.5 miles per hour for the last three or four seasons.
Right there is the very essence of the Cubs’ problem. Their bullpen has been filled with guys who throw 92 or 93 while everyone else has a parade of guys who all throw 95-plus. Why is it so hard for Theo & Co. to find pitchers like that?
Chafin was scheduled to make $3.045 million if 2020 had been a full season. Obviously, with his age and talent level he’s not going to get anywhere near that. But I wouldn’t even bother with a minor-league deal. Why? The Cubs have guys in their system already who can do better, Brailyn Marquez, for one.
Thanks, Andrew, for the four appearances. He didn’t cost much; he was acquired from Arizona with a cash consideration in exchange for a PTBNL or a cash consideration. It’s likely this will wind up being a cash-only swap.
While I’m at it, I’ll just add that the Cubs shouldn’t bother bringing back Josh Phegley, who was the designated “break glass in case of emergency” catcher in 2020. The problem is that David Ross used him at DH for seven games and he was awful: 0-for-14.
The Cubs can surely find another guy on the waiver wire to back up Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini who’s better than that.
This concludes this series on Cubs free agents in the 2020-21 offseason.
Should the Cubs re-sign Andrew Chafin?
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