Chicago Cubs acquire right-hander Jesse Chavez from Texas Rangers

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs started the second half with a win and a trade to add some depth. It is not a huge move by any means, but it can pay off down the stretch.

In their first pre-deadline move, the Chicago Cubs acquired veteran hurler Jesse Chavez in exchange for minor league pitcher Tyler Thomas. Chavez, 34, appeared in 34 games this season for the Texas Rangers, pitching to a 3.51 ERA.

Thomas, a 22-year-old pitcher, pitched in 15 games with the South Bend Cubs this year to tremendous results. In 14 starts, he sports a 2.88 earned run average and 0.960 WHIP. The Cubs drafted him in the seventh round of last year’s draft. The youngster certainly put up good numbers, but was not considered a top prospect.

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In Chavez, the Cubs add another right-hander who can start and pitch in the pen. His 3.51 ERA this year goes along with a 1.243 WHIP, 50 strikeouts, 12 walks, 58 hits against, 10 home runs against and a 4.32 FIP in 56 1/3 innings.

The numbers are not mind-boggling. Both the WHIP and home run totals are high, but he could still be a solid veteran addition to the team. Strikeout numbers are pretty good after all, and he has kept the walks way down. Only seven qualifying relievers have a lower walk rate than Chavez.

In the end, this is a depth move. Contending teams stacking up on pitching depth is essential these days, and the Cubs have done that the past few years. If a spot-start is needed, he is capable of doing that. Considering closer Brandon Morrow is sidelined, right now, adding depth is even more important.

ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers quoted Joe Maddon, saying, “You can start him [Chavez] or put him in the bullpen.” It could be fair to assume Maddon is already thinking he will utilize his versatility in the future if all goes well for him.

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Do not expect the Cubs to be close to being done making moves. This is just one that will be made in a likely series of moves. So far, Theo Epstein has had success in finding effective arms for the final stretch of the season. Even with small moves like these.