Chicago Cubs: Jesse Chavez wanted to be a Cub in 2019
There was no way the Cubs stood pat on their bullpen this winter. This much was abundantly clear, given the losses via free agency. In the past, there had been rumors loosely connecting the Cubs to lefties Andrew Miller and Zach Britton. Britton was said to want a chance to be a closer again.
But Miller signed with the rival Cardinals. Britton, meanwhile, signed with the Yankees. In New York, Britton won’t get the chance to close unless something happens to Aroldis Chapman. With the Cubs, the lefty would at least had the chance to close while Brandon Morrow worked his way back from offseason surgery and perhaps hold onto the job if he pitched well.
At the end of the 2018 season, Jesse Chavez professed, “If I’m not wearing this next year –points to Cubs logo on shirt– I’m done.” Despite his strong feelings, Chavez signed a two-year, $8 million dollar contract with the Rangers. The veteran journeyman pitched incredibly well after the Cubs traded for him last year. At the time many worried that if the team could not afford Chavez at that price that it was a bad sign.
However, perhaps not re-signing Chavez was the right decision. The free agent relief pitcher market continued to collapse this offseason. At 35 years old, the righty is highly unlikely to repeat the elite level of pitching that he managed with the club in 2018.