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


Seth Stohs
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Reports from Jon Heyman and Robert Murray indicate that the Twins have signed veteran right-handed pitcher to a minor league contract.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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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.

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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.... 

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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.

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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.

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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??

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 be  Hill 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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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.

 

My exact thoughts...

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It's super low-risk, so I think it's fine. I have more confidence in this administration (including Baldelli, not just Falvey/Levine) that guys won't get jobs on scholarship and a promising rookie won't get buried for a veteran simply because they're a veteran.

 

If Chacin shows that he has something left and makes a bounceback from an awful 2019, he could make the rotation at least until Pineda returns. Maybe he provides some insurance if Pineda needs more time to get ready (what if he picks up a small injury when ramping up at the end of his suspension?). Or maybe he bring nothing to the table and gets cut. This is a no-risk insurance policy as long as he's treated that way and not as someone who gets a pass over performance.

 

Again, I don't think this administration will choose veterans over young guys simply because they're veterans. If that was the case, Blake Parker would have stuck in the bullpen last year, instead of getting kicked to the curb. (and it's not like Parker was awful...he just wasn't a plus pitcher and they had better options. This is a guy who started out great in Mar/Apr, mediocre in May, bad in June, mediocre in July, and then the Twins decided they were moving on) They could have said, "Hey, we're paying this guy like $2M, let's keep trying to get our money's worth" but they didn't. They could have said, "hey, he's a veteran, he'll bounce back, let's give him more time" and they didn't. That sort of response makes me feel better about this sort of lottery-ticket veteran signing.

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I like this signing. I'd like a Harvey signing as well. However, this is the difference between a winning team and a rebuilding team. If we were rebuilding, guys like Thorpe and Dobnak would be the starters. However, we are a winner and you have to try to trust a more experienced pitcher who has had success to get the job done. We have had top pitching prospects before (most recently Gonsalves) who have never made it. Thus we have to take the chance that a guy like chacin can bounce back. There really is no big cost here- at this point.

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