The Red Sox, as we all know, have some issues with their rotation and pitching depth right now. David Price is returning Sunday afternoon, which should be a major help, but they are still left with a not-stretched-out Nathan Eovaldi as a fourth starter and not much beyond that. September call-ups help matters as well, and one of the call-ups is apparently going to be a pitcher who has never pitched in the Red Sox organization. Prior to Saturday’s game in Los Angeles the team signed right-handed pitcher Jhoulys Chacin to a minor-league contract.
The #RedSox today signed free agent RHP Jhoulys Chacin to a minor league (AAA) contract.— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 31, 2019
The timing of this deal is important, as he is officially in the organization before September 1 which means he’s eligible for postseason play if he makes it that far. Obviously the Red Sox have some work to do to make it to that point, but they’ll need arms in October should they make the big run. Chacín signing a minor-league deal makes some sense, too, as it allows them to bring him into the organization before September 1 without having to option anyone to get him on the roster. He should be on the roster as soon as Sunday, though. They’ll have to make room on the 40-man roster, which is something we’ll be discussing later this morning in a broader discussion on September call-ups.
As for what Chacín himself brings to the table, he’s had a very interesting couple of years. The righty was outstanding in Milwaukee’s rotation last season as they made their run deep into the postseason. In 2018 he pitched to a 3.50 ERA with a 3.99 FIP and a 4.51 DRA over 35 starts. This year hasn’t been as successful, with a 5.79 ERA, a 5.68 FIP and a 7.00 DRA over 19 starts. The righty has gotten more strikeouts in 2019, but his command has taken a major hit with four walks per nine innings and one more home run than he allowed in 2018 despite 104 fewer innings. He was cut by the Brewers on August 26, so the Red Sox wasted no time getting him into the organization.
There’s no guarantees for production here considering how rough his season has been, but given the depth options this team has, this is a smart move that has the potential to pay dividends with a tweak or two.