At this year's MLB trade deadline, the Milwaukee Brewers swung three trades that resulted in big league players joining the team, acquiring first baseman Carlos Santana, outfielder/first baseman Mark Canha, and left-handed relief pitcher Andrew Chafin.
Results on the three players have been mixed in the games the Brewers have played since the deadline. One of these deals, however, is already looking like a particular bust.
Milwaukee Brewers acquisition Andrew Chafin looks like a trade deadline bust.
The Milwaukee Brewers acquired reliever Andrew Chafin after an unfortunate injury to southpaw Justin Wilson by sending the Arizona Diamondbacks a controllable right-handed relief pitcher in Peter Strzelecki. Chafin has a $7.25MM option for the 2024 season that is more than likely going to be declined, making him essentially a rental player.
Prior to arriving in Milwaukee, the book on Chafin this season was that his strikeout numbers were at a career best (currently 30.7%) but his walk rate was at a career worst (currently 13.6%). His ability to throw pitches inside the zone was also at a career worst and is less than 40%.
Prior to the trade, Chafin had a 4.19 ERA in 34.1 innings with the Diamondbacks. After seven outings with the Brewers, this has risen to 5.22 due to surrendering seven earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched. Throwing strikes has remained a big issue for him and he has walked six batters since joining the team.
With that type of performance, manager Craig Counsell has been reluctant to use Chafin in high-leverage situations, although cracking the group of Abner Uribe, Elvis Peguero, Joel Payamps, and Devin Williams was not expected of him. The unfortunate part, as evidenced in Friday night's game against the Texas Rangers, is that he has been unable to come through in low-leverage spots.
Friday's game against the Rangers resulted in a nail-biting ending despite the Brewers leading by five runs entering the ninth inning. Chafin was tasked with getting the final three outs but only managed to get one before Devin Williams had to be brought in. His outing started with a leadoff walk that was followed up by a double, RBI ground out, and then a second double.
If Chafin continues to be near unplayable the Brewers could look to the minors for a lefty like Eric Lauer, Clayton Andrews, or even Robert Gasser to take his spot. At this point, those options would almost certainly yield better results than what they received from their trade deadline acquisition so far.