A pitcher that Jays Journal contributor Zachary Rotman was hoping the front office would pursue the last offseason was Andrew Chafin, a left-hander who had suited up for three different clubs prior to signing a two-year deal with the Detroit Tigers this past offseason.
Coming off a solid campaign with the Oakland A’s last year, pitching to a 1.53 ERA through 28 outings, Chafin is pitching well early this season in Michigan, owning a 2.92 ERA through 12.1 innings pitched. The Ohio product currently has five holds on the season and while he has been pitching well, opponents own a .271 batting average on the southpaw this year. With one save on the season, Chafin sits in the low 90s with his sinker and fastball while mixing in a slider to complete the three-pitch arsenal.
Looking at his current contract, Chafin has a player option for the second year in Detroit, so the reliever could test the free-agent market again this offseason if he so chooses. With the Tigers currently sitting below .500 and on the outside looking in within the AL Central playoff picture, if the front office thinks Chafin will not exercise his option and head to free agency, they may try and trade him at the deadline to recoup some prospect capital in the process.
Chafin makes sense for the Blue Jays if Tayler Saucedo and Andrew Vasquez continue to struggle, leaving only Tim Mayza as the only dependable reliever from the left side. The risk will be there that he flies the coop this offseason to try and make some more than the $7 million his contract calls for in 2023 or he continues to get hit around as the season wears on. Risk and reward options should be weighed carefully.