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Report: Twins to Sign RHP Jhoulys Chacin to Minor League Contract

Reports from Jon Heyman and Robert Murray indicate that the Twins have signed veteran right-handed pitcher to a minor league contract.
Image courtesy of Dan Hamilton, USA Today
While Chacin is signed to a non-guaranteed, minor league contract, it is very likely that he will be in the Twins Opening Day rotation.

When Nick put together his list of still-available starting pitcher options recently, he ranked Chacin at #2 behind only RHP Taijuan Walker.

The addition of Chacin, who is coming off of a tough 2019 season, provides the Twins rotation with some short-term stability as the team waits for Michael Pineda to return from his suspension and Rich Hill to return from his elbow injury.

Chacin doesn't bring upside, but his sturdiness is valuable. The 32-year-old has made 22+ starts and thrown 100+ innings in each of the past four seasons. He struggled mightily for Milwaukee and Boston in 2019 (6.01 ERA), but previously put up a 3.69 ERA over 373 innings between 2017 and 2018, holding opponents to a .227/.309/.365 slash line.


If he fails to turn things around from last year, Chacin can still eat up innings until Michael Pineda is available in mid-May, But if he finds his prior form, Chacin can become another mid-rotation asset. One needn't look too hard to see similarities here with Anibal Sanchez a couple years back.

This move on its own still doesn't necessarily mean that the Twins will stop shopping for starting pitching. Mostly likely, any further signings would also be on minor league deals.

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45 Comments

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operation mindcrime
Feb 01 2020 03:47 PM
Falvine strikes again! Go Twins!!!!! \m/
    • tarheeltwinsfan and gagu like this
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James Rivah Twins Fan
Feb 01 2020 03:57 PM

He definitely needs a bounceback year. 2018 was arguably the best of his entire career with 35 games started, almost 200 innings, a 15-8 record, and a 1.16 WHIP.That's what we need. Then there's 2019 . . . ouch.

    • birdwatcher and gagu like this

This is a good signing.Whether it works or not will depend on which Chacin we get. Hopefully he just had trouble with the juiced ball last year

    • PseudoSABR likes this
This is a good low risk signing.
    • Twins33, PseudoSABR, specialiststeve and 5 others like this
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sweetmusicviola16
Feb 01 2020 04:08 PM

I beg to differ with Seth. I think Chacin has some good upside.

 

This is just an milb signing, and a good one. Better sign than Hill and Bailey imo.

    • gil4 and tarheeltwinsfan like this
Gross
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drivlikejehu
Feb 01 2020 04:10 PM

It's literally a zero-risk signing.

    • scottz, PseudoSABR, gbg and 5 others like this
If this is the best they can find, just let Dobnak and Thorpe eat the innings. They can't be much worse and they at least offer the upside of being young and unknown.
    • Captain18s likes this
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sweetmusicviola16
Feb 01 2020 04:34 PM

 

It's literally a zero-risk signing.

Exactly. But my bet is he's far closer to his 2017-18 self than his 2019. One thing that stands out to me from last season is he was killed by the HR, he gave up a career high. A tweek or two and we could have a very solid addition to our team. Good sign.

 

If not he is easily sent packing and we fall back to Dobnak/Smeltzer/Thorpe.

    • TwinVike61 and DannySD like this
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specialiststeve
Feb 01 2020 04:41 PM

As many of us had stated we were going to sign a low risk - (hopefully) high reward. My guess is we will sign at least one more of this type pitcher. Having as many options as possible is what the FO should and has been doing. One more minor league contract for a major league vet would be nice and pick from as the spring training goes. 

 

Nice job FO.... 

    • TwinVike61, tarheeltwinsfan and CUtomorrownight like this
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IndianaTwin
Feb 01 2020 04:44 PM

From Rotoworld.com...

 

Twins signed RHP Jhoulys Chacin to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
The 32-year-old hurler saw his performance fall off a cliff in 2019, posting a miserable 6.01 ERA, 1.56 WHIP and 101/46 K/BB ratio over 103 1/3 innings between the Brewers and Red Sox. Still, he held a 3.69 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 373 innings the previous two seasons, so maybe there's something the Twins can salvage here. He'll compete for one of the final spots in the club's Opening Day rotation.

 

My preference was a dice-roll on Taijuan Walker (and I'd still go for doing that too), but I'm on board with this.

    • DocBauer likes this
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birdwatcher
Feb 01 2020 04:44 PM

My guess is Falvey views him as cheap insurance in the event that none of Thorpe, Dobnak, or Smeltzer look like they deserve the job.

    • Otwins, DocBauer, wabene and 1 other like this

I have no opinion except that, years ago, when Chacin was first in the majors, a friend of mine named his fantasy team "When Jhoulys Expect It." For this reason alone, I'm in favor of this signing.

    • ashbury, USAFChief, birdwatcher and 10 others like this

I was in favor of going after him last offseason, yeah he took a step back, but he's still a decent option with experience for low cost with a decent upside.

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

This article gets ahead of itself quite a bit, IMO...

 

Chacin won't even see the 40-man until/unless a fairly significant string of events unfolds. Barring a spring-training disaster, one or two of the young arms already on the 40-man will get the opportunities to start the season. If they fail as a group, and/or there are other injuries...and Chacin is good at Rochester....then maybe. 

 

It's just insurance...supplementary insurance even...the kind you buy when you already have insurance, but don't love it.

    • birdwatcher, h2oface, DocBauer and 1 other like this

Yuck - I want the young arms.More baggage to throw in front of potential good arms.Why?

    • denarded and Captain18s like this
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ChrisKnutson
Feb 01 2020 07:26 PM
I got no complaints about Chacin, especially on a minor league deal, although I still would’ve preferred any of Walker, Cashner, and Sanchez. Furthermore, has anyone noticed that Cody Allen has yet to be signed? Would it be worth it to sign him and Matt Harvey to minor league deals to finish off the offseason??
Full confession, I don't follow other teams and the league as a whole the way I used to. (When i knew about everyone of note). What I know about him is spotty memory, once I pulled his binder from my mental library, and what has been posted here and 2 other articles/blogs.

I am completely "meh" on this signing. But I, and most of us, expected a couple of signings like this, as fliers. They usually don't pay off. But occasionally, they do.

It's only an invite and flier. There is a chance, healthy, change of scenery, he suddenly looks like the solid guy he was for 2017-2018. That would/could provide depth and insurance.

Listening to the recent podcast of Gleeman and the Geek, Gleeman has the impression the Twins really like Thorpe and think he has a real future. (No knock on anyone else). And while Thorpe will not be handed a job, he seems to feel the Twins believe in him. I do as well.

I also am of the belief Dobnak is not just a good/fun story.

But every team signs fliers. It's just smart, normal baseball. Again, this is just that and depth and a coin in the fountain in case one of the young guys isn't quite ready yet.

I'd rather see the kids get their shot. There appears to be something there. But I'm OK with options.
    • Halsey Hall, mikelink45, gbg and 5 others like this
I've got no issues with taking fliers on guys, but right now 60% of the rotation fall into that category. Even when Pineda is back I don't view him as anything close to a safe bet given his past.
    • h2oface, Captain18s and sweetmusicviola16 like this
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howieramone2
Feb 01 2020 09:26 PM
MLB.com just rated our overall offseason as excellent. Their power ranking have us 4th. But you are certainly entitled to your opinion.
    • DannySD likes this
Took a few moments to just look up his career numbers and they are crazy. There is a great TD blog post breaking his career down in to "ACTS". It's very interesting. Let's just say that despite a very uneven career, he had moments. And if his 2017-18 performance had carried over to 2019, he wouldn't be signed to a milb contract. Not sitting here hopeful we signed some #3-4 SP who is going to surprise everyone. Just saying for a milb deal I'm in the "hmmmm" frame of mind.
    • gagu and sweetmusicviola16 like this
He’s thrown about 120 innings in the AL in career and has been pretty brutal (ERA in the ballpark of 5.00).

In theory, I guess they could get something out of him (Anibal Sanchez comes to mind). I’m certainly my not expecting anything. At the end of the day, if he’s throwing significant innings I think it likely means we’re in trouble. I would’ve rather seen a flier on Walker, but not losing any sleep.
    • mikelink45 likes this
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jorgenswest
Feb 01 2020 10:56 PM
I would prefer that the Twins devote the time to the young pitchers. One of Chacin or Bailey helps. Two likely mediocre veteran pitchers takes away opportunity in both spring and during the regular season from Thorpe, Dobnak and Smeltzer. I would much rather invest those backend starts on two of that trio and I don’t trust that Chacin or Bailey will be released if they are pitching at a mediocre level.

Last year Thorpe, Dobnak and Smeltzer started 13 games and the Twins went 8-5. Two of Dobnak’s were an opener but Thorpe or Smeltzer were the primary those two games where they went 1-1. Why not devote 14-16 starts to this trio before Pineda returns?

Is there an opt out date on this deal? If that opt out date is early in the season then I really don’t like the deal. The Twins will be too motivated to roster him over a younger pitcher. Even if he is simply insurance against losing a pitcher in the spring that insurance comes at the cost of giving him valuable spring innings where he is essentially auditioning for other teams. If the opt out date is May 15 or later then the insurance makes sense. Keep him the minors as long as everyone is healthy and give a shot to the young pitchers.
    • Dman, DocBauer, Captain18s and 1 other like this

Ever since I was a kid, I just hate the phrase "innings eater". If you get called one, it usually means you suck, and that is the best someone can say about you, and a replacement for how they really feel - you know - the brutal truth.

 

Much ado about nothing. He won't break camp. Put it in the bank.

    • mikelink45, Dman and Platoon like this

 

This article gets ahead of itself quite a bit, IMO...

 

Chacin won't even see the 40-man until/unless a fairly significant string of events unfolds. Barring a spring-training disaster, one or two of the young arms already on the 40-man will get the opportunities to start the season. If they fail as a group, and/or there are other injuries...and Chacin is good at Rochester....then maybe. 

 

It's just insurance...supplementary insurance even...the kind you buy when you already have insurance, but don't love it.

The first event will beHill going on the 60 day disabled list. All he needs to do is have better pitching than two of Baily, Dobnak, Smelltzer and Thorpe to start the year on the roster.. That doesn't make him an insurance policy


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