Blue Jays acquire Jesse Chavez in trade with Oakland


The Toronto Blue Jays have traded reliever Liam Hendriks to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for starting pitcher Jesse Chavez, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. 

This is a short term move for the Blue Jays, as four years of team control leave with Hendriks in exchange for Chavez, who is set to become a free agent following the 2016 season. With this move, the Blue Jays re-allocate an asset to a greater area of need, but losing Hendriks is a difficult pill to swallow.

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After spending much of his career as a fringe starter, Hendriks exploded in a bullpen role for the Blue Jays last season. His velocity enjoyed a spike while posting a 2.92 ERA and striking out over a batter an inning. Hendriks was expected to have an opportunity at filling a more prominent role in the 2016 pen after the departure of Mark Lowe and LaTroy Hawkins, but the Jays have chosen to sell high.

Many Jays fans will remember Chavez for a brief and unspectacular stint in 2012 with the Jays, but he’s enjoyed some level of success over the past three seasons in Oakland. In his last two seasons, Chavez has made 47 starts and 15 relief appearances, posting a 3.83 ERA and 1.330 WHIP. His 2015 season was good for 2.3 WAR.

Chavez would slot in to the current rotation as a member of the starting five, it seems, but is not necessarily a name that the Blue Jays should want above the fifth spot. Adding another starter, and a more talented one, should continue to be a priority for the Jays. With Hendriks out of the picture, another hole has also been created in the bullpen that will need to be addressed. Chavez is projected to earn $4.7 million in arbitration heading in to the 2016 season.