The Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland Athletics completed an interesting deal on Friday, swapping two Major League pitchers in a one-for-one swap.
The Blue Jays acquired right-handed starter Jesse Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Liam Hendriks,as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported Friday.
Chavez will add to a Blue Jays' rotation that will take a big hit after David Price leaves in free agency. As it stands right now, the rotation consists of Marcus Stroman, R.A. Dickey, Marco Estrada, Drew Hutchinson, and now Chavez.
Rosenthal tweeted that Chavez could fill a similar role that Estrada had last season, starting out as a long reliever and serving as depth in the rotation.
The only way that Chavez is bumped from the current rotation would be if Toronto went out and signed another option. They just do not have the depth right now for Chavez to be in the bullpen. Chavez has filled both a starting and relief role in his career.
Last season, Chavez went 7-15 with a 4.18 ERA and 3.85 FIP in 30 appearances (26 starts). He pitched 157 innings, striking out 136 and walking just 48. He is a free agent at the end of the season.
The Blue Jays did have to give up Hendriks for Chavez, who had a great season in 2015 after coming out of the bullpen.
The 26-year-old Hendriks went 5-0 with a 2.92 ERA and 2.14 FIP in 2015, coming out of the bullpen 58 times. In his 64 2/3 innings, Hendriks struck out 71 and walked just 11. His fastball averaged 95 mph last season, which was a good jump from where it had been.
Hendriks comes with four seasons of control and is not a free agent until after the 2019 season. He is not even arbitration eligible until the 2017 season.
With the A's signing Rich Hill to start in their rotation, Chavez became immediately expendable. Billy Beane and Co. in their front office obviously looked at that as a way to upgrade other parts of their team and a hard-throwing reliever was something they lacked.