The Chicago Cubs have reportedly been busy just ahead Major League Baseball’s trade deadline. On Monday, ESPN reported the club acquired not one, but two left-handed relievers by trading with the Boston Redsox for Josh Osich while getting Andrew Chafin from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Both deals came after analysts have spent much of the last week claiming the Cubs were on the hunt for bullpen help. Pitchers like Trevor Rosenthal and Pedro Strop were mentioned as potential targets, but Rosenthal ended up with the Padres and Strop is still without a new team.
Chafin is in his sixth Major League season and up until now, he’s spent his entire career with the Diamondbacks. While he had posted solid numbers in his first five seasons, he’s struggled in 2020.
Before going on the Injured List with a sprained finger on his throwing hand, he posted just an 8.10 earned run average. He has a career 3.68 ERA and 288 total strikeouts in 271 innings pitched.
His statistics this year are skewed a bit by one poor outing at the end of July against the Texas Rangers, when he failed to record an out, while allowing a walk, two hits, and three earned runs.
He’s been on the injured list for the last two weeks and it’s not known when he might join the Cubs’ active roster. Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation reported that the Chafin trade’s return to Arizona is contingent on whether or not the reliever can get healthy, relatively quickly.
If he does come off the IL in the next couple of weeks, the Cubs will send a low-level prospect back. If he’s not able to get healthy and contribute to the team’s playoff run, they will pay him a small portion of his pro-rated 2020 salary.
Taylor pointed out the acquisition of an injured player likely led the Cubs to pursue another trade just an hour later.
Osich comes to the Windy City after posting a 5.74 ERA with the Red Sox this summer. This was his first year in Boston after breaking into the Big Leagues with the San Francisco Giants in 2015 and playing four seasons there.
He also spent 2019 in Chicago, but it was with the White Sox.
Osich has managed an ERA below 4.00 just once in his career and that was his rookie season. Taylor said that some Cubs fans might wonder why the team traded for him.
The analyst pointed to the hurler’s salary as the likeliest factor, as he’s making just over the league minimum.