Cubs acquire righty Chavez from Rangers
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon likes versatile players, and he picked up one for his bullpen on Thursday with the addition of right-hander Jesse Chavez.
The Cubs acquired Chavez from the Rangers for Minor League left-hander Tyler Thomas, who was the team's seventh-round Draft pick in 2017.
"Good arm, versatile," Maddon said of Chavez, 34. "He can start and relieve. I've watched him and I know he's had some great runs with different teams. The word that comes to mind is 'versatility,' that you can either start him or put him in the bullpen and he's very good in both arenas."
Chavez is 3-1 with three holds, one save and a 3.51 ERA in 30 relief appearances with the Rangers, striking out 50 over 56 1/3 innings while walking 12.
He has spent all or part of 11 seasons in the Majors, making 70 starts. The Cubs are his ninth team, as he's had stints with the Pirates (2008-09), Braves ('10), Royals ('10-11), Blue Jays ('12, '16), Athletics ('12-15), Dodgers ('16), Angels ('17) and Rangers ('18).
"He's a great guy, low-key, good pitcher and I know that's why we picked him up," Cubs closer Brandon Morrow said of Chavez, who was his teammate on the Blue Jays. "He's got a rubber arm out of the bullpen and a swing guy and can do a lot of things well. He's really versatile."
Chavez has pitched exclusively in relief this year after making 21 starts with the Angels last season. He pitched solely in relief for the Blue Jays and Dodgers in 2016, combining to make 62 outings.
The Cubs' bullpen has been one of the team's strengths in the first half, getting contributions from players on the Opening Day roster as well as those promoted from the Minors to fill in, such as Randy Rosario, Justin Hancock, Luke Farrell and James Norwood.
Maddon doesn't think the Cubs' front office is finished tinkering with the roster.
"I don't think that's going to be the end of it," Maddon said. "They enjoy it too much."
In 2016, the Cubs acquired closer Albertin Chapman, who helped lead the team to the World Series. Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks said the players like to see the moves.
"We get excited about it for sure," Hendricks said. "It shows the position we're in. We're in a spot where we have a chance to go really far this year. Those are the things that happen. We know we're going to get guys and that's part of it."