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.