The Oakland Athletics and Chicago Cubs have struck a deal, sending relief pitcher Andrew Chafin to Oakland for two prospects, Greg Deichmann and Daniel Palencia. Chafin was dealt to Chicago at last season’s trade deadline and has been a huge part of a spectacular bullpen so far in 2021.
Chafin made his MLB debut in 2014 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he spent the first six and a half seasons of his career. During a down year in 2020, he was shipped off to Chicago, where he re-signed in the offseason on a one-year deal.
This season, Andrew Chafin has a 2.06 ERA, 2.67 FIP, 3.93 xFIP, and 3.62 SIERA in 39.1 innings over 43 appearances. Although his K% is his lowest since 2015, he’s still been able to get hitters out, and his 51 ERA- and 64 FIP- are both career bests. So far, half of the batted balls he’s allowed have been on the ground, and he’s given up just five barrels.
Oakland Strengthens ‘Pen
The Oakland A’s are currently 56-45 and are five games back of the Houston Astros for the AL West division lead. They are currently one game ahead of the Mariners and hold the 2nd wild card spot in the American League. Their bullpen currently ranks 10th in baseball with a 3.78 ERA, but 27th with a 4.24 SIERA. They play solid defense and in a big stadium, which could be the explanation for this, and adding another ground ball pitcher will only make their bullpen better.
The A’s bullpen has been a strong suit for years, but they lost their closer, Liam Hendriks, in the offseason. They’ve gotten great production out of Lou Trivino, Jake Diekman, Yusmeiro Petit, and Sergio Romo, and adding another left-handed arm will be a solid pickup for the team, who didn’t give up any major league talent in the trade.
Cubs Bolster Farm
The Chicago Cubs are beginning the fire sale that has been inevitable for years, but they’ve only moved on from short-term Cubs, and haven’t shipped off the big names yet. Their farm system is currently fairly average, so adding prospects at the deadline will do wonders for their future.
In this trade, they were able to add Greg Deichman and Daniel Palencia, two minor leaguers. Deichman is a 26-year-old outfielder who is currently in AAA and is near-MLB ready. He has an incredible power bat, as he has 70-grade raw power according to FanGraphs’ scouting report. He’s a 40+ FV prospect, who has a 127 wRC+ and .432 OBP in 59 AAA games this season.
Daniel Palencia is a low-level prospect, who ranks 12th on FanGraphs’ Oakland A’s prospect list, but doesn’t rank in MLB Pipeline’s top-30. He’s currently 21 and has only 14.1 innings of professional baseball behind him. He’s a hard-throwing righty with below-average command and was signed by Oakland in February 2020 out of Venezuela.
It’s always hard to project prospects, but given that Andrew Chafin is just a rental and is a reliever, the Cubs seem to have done very well in this trade by picking up two prospects. Deichman should be ready to make his MLB debut by the end of this season, while Palencia’s ETA is in 2024. The Cubs have shown more interest in younger prospects, as they went for two 2024 ETA prospects in the trade package for Yu Darvish in the offseason.
Main image credit Embed from Getty Images