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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Braves, Cubs Swap Sean Newcomb, Jesse Chavez

The Cubs have acquired reliever Sean Newcomb from the Braves for Jesse Chavez and cash, according to announcements from both teams. Atlanta had designated Newcomb for assignment yesterday.

It’s a new landing spot for Newcomb, who has spent the past six seasons in Atlanta. A first-round pick of the Angels in 2014, the left-hander quickly developed into one of the sport’s top pitching prospects. Within a few months, he’d pitched his way onto Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list. After the 2015 season, the Angels flipped him alongside Chris Ellis to Atlanta for five years of Andrelton Simmons.

Newcomb was a starting pitching prospect at the time, with evaluators holding out hope that his high-octane arsenal could make him a top-of-the-rotation caliber hurler. He remained in that role for his first couple major league seasons, starting 49 of his 50 appearances between 2017-18. Newcomb showed some promise, posting a 4.06 ERA with a solid 23.3% strikeout rate. As he had throughout his time in the minor leagues, though, he struggled to throw strikes. After walking 12% of batters faced through his first couple seasons, the Braves transitioned him to the ’pen in 2019.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2022 at 10:37 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, cubs, sean newcomb

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   1. The Duke Posted: April 21, 2022 at 01:03 PM (#6072930)
Great deal for Cubs. I believe Newcomb could still be a star
   2. sanny manguillen Posted: April 21, 2022 at 01:16 PM (#6072933)
Pirates traded Kip Wells for Chavez back in 2006, and brought Chavez to the majors.
   3. Rough Carrigan Posted: April 21, 2022 at 01:42 PM (#6072939)
Does Newcomb still have the arm he had 4 years back?
   4. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 21, 2022 at 03:44 PM (#6072980)
Chavez was a minor league signing, and he's been getting hit kinda hard. He's had some success with the Cubs and Braves before, but there's not much upside for the Cubs keeping him (they might not get as much value at the trade deadline, even though Newcomb was DFAd). Newcomb is a scratch off lottery ticket; I doubt he'll ever be a star and he may never even start again, but the Cubs have had some success with career rehabing guys with some decent stuff. I approve.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2022 at 05:35 PM (#6072997)
Pretty much a no-brainer for the Cubs ... would you rather have the 38-yo fungible reliever who's been getting hit hard or the 29-yo fungible reliever who's been getting hit hard? You've traded the cheapest daily lotto ticket that you've already scratched off two things that don't match so you know at best you'll win a free ticket if the third one matches something for a ticket where only one thing has been scratched off.

For the Braves ... mostly doesn't matter since they'd DFA'd him but not a good sign of the state of the Braves' pen given they have to give Chavez a 26-man roster spot (or let him go). It's a positive of course if they think Chavez is a bit better than Newcomb but still not a good sign they don't think they have somebody better than Chavez in the system. Anyway, Chavez will probably be DFA'd within the next month or two.

I was just about to post (in Gonfalon or somewhere when it was relevant) that it sure looks like Chavez's only value at this point is to soak up genuinely low-leverage innings -- like pitch 3 innings when you're down 9-0. I was not happy to see him enter a game the other day in more of a high-leverage multi-inning slot (I think it was the 4th or 5th of a still close game). In short he seems capable of providing a 2-3 inning effort every 4 games or so without his arm falling off but they won't be good innings. Can you burn a roster spot on "blowout specialist"? (Chavez will now go on to post a 2.27 ERA for the Braves.)
   6. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: April 22, 2022 at 07:10 AM (#6073059)
The Braves started Alex Dickerson at DH for multiple games. They're not above wasting roster spots. Through the first week, their 6-7-8 hitters were hitting under .200... if you added their averages together. Early signs of a hangover year.
   7. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: April 22, 2022 at 02:51 PM (#6073117)
This is one of the very few clear wins the Angels have had in their major transactions during the Trout years. Newcomb had three decent seasons for the Braves, putting up about 5 wins of value over those seasons before losing his control. But Andrelton Simmons put up that much value in EACH of his first three seasons with the Angels before suffering a couple of ankle injuries. And he had one MVP-type season of 7.9 bWAR in there. As much as the Angels have needed pitching, this was a good trade for them.

I do hope Newcomb can figure it out, though.

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