A's finalize deal with Cubs for lefty Chafin

July 27th, 2021

Entering the past three Trade Deadlines as serious contenders, the A’s have not hesitated to make the jump on deals they believe increase their chances of making a deep playoff run.

This year is no different.

With a clear need for relief help, the A’s officially added a strong bullpen reinforcement with left-hander in a deal with the Cubs on Monday night.

In return, Oakland sent the Cubs outfielder Greg Deichmann, ranked by MLB Pipeline as Oakland’s No. 9 prospect, and Low-A right-hander Daniel Palencia.

The 31-year-old Chafin, whose contract includes a $5.25 million mutual option for 2022 with a $500,000 buyout, has emerged as one of the top left-handed relievers in baseball this season. In 43 appearances with the Cubs, he’s posted a 2.06 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 12 walks across 39 1/3 innings pitched. Chafin has been tough on hitters on both sides of the plate, though he’s actually fared slightly better against righties, holding them to a .147 batting average as opposed to a .164 average against lefties.

Used primarily as a setup man to Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel this year, Chafin could fill a similar role with Oakland closer Lou Trivino. Upgrading a bullpen whose 15 blown saves is tied for fourth-most in the American League, Chafin provides A’s manager Bob Melvin another high-leverage option from the left side along with Jake Diekman, and could form a bridge tandem to the ninth inning with veteran right-hander Yusmeiro Petit.