Andrew Chafin traded by Diamondbacks to Brewers for Strzelecki

Aug 1, 2023, 1:11 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2023, 11:51 am

The Arizona Diamondbacks have traded pitcher Andrew Chafin to the Milwaukee Brewers, the team announced on Tuesday.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported the trade.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro first reported the return being relief pitcher Peter Strzelecki. After making his major league debut last season, the right-hander Strzelecki in his 66 total career appearances has a 3.69 ERA and 1.203 WHIP across 70.2 innings. Strzelecki has several years of control remaining, ineligible to be a free agent until after the 2028 season, while Chafin has a $7.5 million club option for next season.

Strzelecki will be sent down to Triple-A and reliever Joe Mantiply is getting called up, general manager Mike Hazen said on Tuesday.

Chafin, a 33-year-old left-handed reliever, was one of a few offseason additions made by the D-backs in an attempt to create more stability in the bullpen. While the numbers have improved after a disastrous 2022, July was especially brutal for the 2023 bullpen. At one point, the relievers allowed a run in 17 straight games, and posted a 6.04 ERA, the third-worst in baseball.

Chafin has been mostly solid for the D-backs, who have, in turn, had him serve as one of the more important relievers for the D-backs. Due to Arizona’s closer-by-committee strategy prior to acquiring closer Paul Sewald on Monday, this had Chafin get a dozen save opportunities. He converted on eight, with that save mark being second on the team, and his four blown saves are tied for Arizona’s most.

In 34.1 innings this season, Chafin has a 4.19 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.

Chafin’s professional career began with the D-backs after he was selected 43rd overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. Three years later, he got three cracks as a starter in 2014 before getting converted to a bullpen role, one he has maintained for the rest of his tenure in the majors.

After six-and-a-half seasons in the Valley, Chafin was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2020. He then spent a season apiece with the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers before his return to the D-backs this year. Chafin has the franchise record for career appearances by a pitcher, with 380.

Letting Chafin go surely had at least a bit to do with the strong form of fellow lefty reliever Kyle Nelson. The 26-year-old has been a pleasant surprise since getting selected off waivers by the D-backs in November 2021.

In 78 innings across 91 appearances the last two seasons, Nelson has given up 63 hits, 23 walks and 22 earned runs, good for a 2.54 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.

Arizona’s bullpen additions beyond Chafin included right-handers Miguel Castro and Scott McGough, who both should still be in the mix for the late-inning roles prior to Sewald’s arrival in the ninth inning.

Castro has had extreme variance this season, either being awesome or terrible in most outings, resulting in a 3.95 ERA and 1.10 WHIP this season in 43.1 innings. McGough went through a stretch without giving up an earned run from May 14 to June 28 before a brutal 9.58 ERA in July.

The Diamondbacks made four trades across Monday and Tuesday.

They added Strzelecki, Sewald, infielder Jace Peterson from the Oakland Athletics and outfielder Tommy Pham from the New York Mets.

Arizona parted ways with infielder Josh Rojas, outfielder Dominic Canzone and infield prospect Ryan Bliss for Sewald; pitching prospect Chad Patrick for Peterson and cash considerations; and 17-year-old infielder Jeremy Rodriguez for Pham.

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