Photo credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
There was a short while at some point this season — it’s a bit fuzzy, but I’m sure it happened — when it seemed like Jesse Chavez might not be kinda useless and a liability to the Jays’ bullpen. He’s been way too homer prone, and terrible at keeping inherited runners from scoring — Alykhan Ravjiani of BlueJays.com tweets that Chavez has allowed 15 of 31 inherited runners to score, which is good for the third-worst rate in baseball.
He was brought over for Liam Hendriks as rotation insurance last winter, with the thought that he’d certainly be needed to start games at some point. But with the Jays’ rotation being remarkably healthy all year (touch wood), and Aaron Sanchez forcing his way into the starting mix this spring, he’d been consigned to the bullpen — and, until Gavin Floyd was injured, was basically a second swingman type for the club.
It wasn’t a particularly effective use of his skills, whatever the hell they are (and he admitted struggling with his mechanics, and seemed to generally be having a difficult season here), and he certainly wasn’t going to be a guy the Jays looked to for starts after the way things had gone.
That is, of course, a problem no more, as Chavez has been shipped to the Dodgers for 28-year-old right-handed depth starting slop-thrower Mike Bolsinger, who actually was halfway decent — 3.62 ERA, 1.2 fWAR — over 21 starts in 2014, but has been hot garbage this year (and has a fastball topping out just a shade under 88).
Bolsinger will surely go to Buffalo, while the Jays have replaced Chavez in their bullpen with a seemingly better swingman, Scott Feldman of the Astros. With the Jays in Houston to kick off a four-game set tonight, he’s already making his way to his new clubhouse as we speak, and he’s… actually not such a bad pick-up. Even at the cost of far-away GCL right-hander, and all-name team member, Guadalupe Chavez.
Chavez seems like not a bad lottery ticket for a team to take (he was the Jays’ 20th ranked prospect according to MLB.com), but in return the Jays get back a nice rental piece in the right-hander Feldman, who has the lowest exit velocity in baseball this year, according to a tweet from Mr. Brian Kenny, and sports a 2.90 ERA with 42 strikeouts and just 13 walks over 62 innings, mostly in relief (though he’s also made five starts for the Astros as well).
Feldman’s FIP is less impressive, but thanks to his fastball-cutter-curve mix he regularly produces low rates of hard contact and out-pitches that FIP, while having a decent ground ball rate, too. He’s… fine.
Better than Chavez, at least, and less terrifying!
And like the Grilli, Benoit, and Upton trades before them, all they’re giving up for a better swingman and a little extra Triple-A starting depth is a guy who was a DFA waiting to happen and a lesser prospect. Not sexy, but not bad at all.
And that would seem to be all that they’re going to do here today. Still time for trades in August, though!