Bargain Basement Watch: Jhoulys Chacin

Jhoulys Chacin is now a free agent after the Arizona Diamondbacks designated him for assignment because he was projected to make $1.8M as an arbitration eligible player.  Penny wise and pound foolish.

In this age of outrageous salaries, it’s hard to understand why the D’backs wouldn’t think Chacin is a good risk at $1.8M.  Chacin will be 28 next year, and he had three outstanding years as a starter for the Rockies in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Denver is an extremely difficult place to pitch, and not surprisingly Chacin had poor seasons in 2012 and 2014.  This past season, he pitched extremely well at AAA Reno, a very difficult place to pitch, and then pitched well in five late season appearances (four of them starts) in Phoenix, another tough place to pitch.

Chacin has an MLB career home ERA of 4.15 and a career road ERA of 3.26.  How many MLB starters with more than 600 career innings pitched have career road ERAs that low and make less than $2M per year?  I’d be surprised if there was anyone else, at least among those not currently rehabilitating after Tommy John surgery.

You never know with these things.  The Diamondbacks might announce tomorrow that they have re-signed Chacin for $1M to $1.5M, after giving him a good scare by designating him.  However, one would think that if a small market team playing in a pitcher’s park (Oakland and Tampa Bay jump right out at me) isn’t calling Chacin’s agent every 10 or 15 minutes until they reach him, something is very, very wrong.

In fact, I’d love to see the Giants jump on Chacin, even though they are likely to go after much bigger free agent fish.  Chacin looks like a guy who would be perfectly suited to blossom in a home park that favors RHPs and with a plus defense behind him.

Explore posts in the same categories: Arizona Diamond Backs, Oakland A's, San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Rays

8 Comments on “Bargain Basement Watch: Jhoulys Chacin”

  1. Burly Says:

    In reviewing’s list of the top free agents, I noticed that they rank Rich HIll, who had four very strong late season starts for the Red Sox, as the 50th best free agent and predict he’ll get a one-year $5M deal. I’d much rather take a chance on Chacin than Hill.

    • Burly Says:

      The A’s just signed Rich Hill to a one-year S6M deal. Hill pitched great in four late-season MLB starts but wasn’t nearly as effective in far more 2015 AAA playing time. It will be interesting (to me at least) to find out what kind of a contract Chacin gets.

  2. Burly Says:

    David Hernandez, a set-up man who came back in 2015 and pitched 33.2 innings for the D-Backs after missing the 2014 season to Tommy John surgery, just signed a one-year $3.9M contract with the Phillies. The D-Backs’ decision on Chacin looks worse as the off-season progresses.

  3. Burly Says:

    The Braves just signed Jhoulys Chacin to a minor league deal for 2016. I just don’t understand how Rich Hill gets a $6M guarantee, while Chacin can’t even get a major league contract.

  4. Burly Says:

    After a fine Spring Training, the Braves sent Chacin to AAA. He was terrific in one start and was promoted to the Show this morning. This evening he threw six shutout innings, giving up five hits and striking out 8. The Braves ended up losing the game, but Chacin has earned at least two more major league starts after today’s outing.

  5. Burly Says:

    With the 2016 regular season drawing to a close, it is clear that Jhoulys Chacin was worth every penny of the $1.8 million the Diamondbacks didn’t give him. In fact, fangraphs rates Chacin’s 2016 performance to date at $10.8 million, which seems excessive for a sport starter with a 5.06 ERA, but at least suggests that MLB teams don’t really know as much as they ought to, in light of the fact that not one team was willing to give Chacin a major league contract entering the 2016 season.

    • Burly Says:

      Now the question is: will Chacin get a major league contract for 2017? You would think there is at least one major league team willing to give him a $1 million guarantee.

      • Burly Says:

        Based on a little internet research, it appears that Chacin was paid something like $1.375 million per annum for his major league service time in 2016, and that he made about $1.325 for the season based on the fact that he spent only about one week in the minors. If so, $1 million guarantee with significant performance bonuses with certainly be appropriate.

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