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Rangers Send Jesse Chavez to Cubs For Pitching Prospect

Jesse_Chavez_AndrewDiebGetty.jpg
Jesse Chavez (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)

With the back of their starting rotation scuffling, the Cubs made a move to acquire a long man who can eat innings on Thursday.

The Cubs acquired veteran righthander Jesse Chavez from the Rangers following their 9-6 victory over the Cardinals, sending minor league lefthander Tyler Thomas to Texas in return.

The Cubs will be Chavez’s ninth team in his 11-year career. The Cubs originally drafted him in the 39th round out of high school in 2001, but he didn’t sign and ended up going to college.

Rangers acquire:

Tyler Thomas, LHP
Age: 22

Formerly known as Ricky Tyler Thomas, Thomas was semi-famous in college as a little lefty who could really pitch. He starred for three years at Fresno State, pitched for the US Collegiate National Team and was drafted in the seventh round by the Cubs in 2017. Thomas is a rail-thin lefty who is listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds but is really closer to 6-foot, 160 pounds. He’s a soft-tosser with a fastball that sits in the upper 80s, and his best pitch is an average changeup that flashes plus. He has an athletic, easy delivery so he may have more velocity to come, but his age and thin frame cause doubts. Thomas pounds the bottom of the strike zone and has been able to get hitters in the low minors out—he went 3-5, 2.88 with 81 strikeouts and 14 walks at low Class A South Bend—but opposing evaluators don’t see the stuff for him to succeed against Double-A or Triple-A hitters. Many regard him largely as an organizational minor league arm, but athletic lefties with a good changeup tend to have a long shelf life.

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Cubs acquire:

Jesse Chavez, RHP
Age: 34

Chavez started as recently as last year and gives the Cubs much-needed length to their bullpen. He went 3-1, 3.51 as the Rangers long man this season, pitching more than one inning in 19 of his 30 appearances, including two stints of four innings and one of five. Chavez can also slide in as a spot starter and gives the Cubs options if Tyler Chatwood continues to struggle. He is a free agent at the end of this season.

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