Keone Kela and Jake Diekman are the most valuable trade chips out of the Texas Rangers bullpen. But what about Jesse Chavez? He’s having a stellar year too.
All year-long Keone Kela and Jake Diekman have been the talk of the Texas Rangers bullpen. And they should be. Both have pitched well, both work important late inning jobs and both are front and center in trade rumors. Though, let’s turn the spotlight to one of the lesser names in the Texas bullpen: Jesse Chavez.
Chavez has been surprisingly dominant for much of the year. He got off to a rough start; however, his ERA has dropped to a very impressive 3.26. In fact, he has allowed just eight earned runs over his last 33.2 innings pitched (since the start of May).
It’s not only the quality of pitching that Chavez has provided, it’s also the workload. Chavez ranks fourth among MLB relievers with 49.2 innings pitched in 2018. He has taken on whatever role Jeff Banister has asked of him and he has thrived.
A reliever who does not give up runs and racks up significant innings has value, there is no doubt about it. While long reliever isn’t the most sought after position during trade season, a lights out long reliever might just get some attention.
Jesse Chavez is not a pitcher that the Texas Rangers will trade on his lonesome. With that said, he could add some spice to a packaged deal. The word on the street is starting pitcher Cole Hamels isn’t worth an elite prospect by himself. Insiders say the addition of the aforementioned Kela or Diekman would be the cherry on top to a blockbuster deal.
What if Chavez is thrown in there? Yes, the Rangers bullpen would be depleted if they lose two relievers. But, does it really matter? Unless they play the remainder of the season as they’ve played their last 11 games, Texas will miss the playoffs. Plus, you have to take into account the fact that the Rangers are sellers, so their daily on-field product will only suffer as current players are traded. Certainly, they can dig into the minors to find a reliever or two that can hang in the big leagues.
Just saying, if Jesse Chavez can sweeten an offer and get the Texas Rangers a legitimate prospect, send him on his way.
There are teams out there that could use a pitcher like Chavez. Pitchers get worn out towards the end of the season. Chavez could step in as a spot starter and he can discount starts as a long reliever. The bullpen is the newfound strength of playoff baseball. All contenders will take a chance to upgrade their bullpen for the postseason.