As the Cubs turn their attention to filling out their bullpen, they could benefit from paying a visit to an old friend.  This pitcher became a bit of a cult hero during his time on the Northside before being traded to the Oakland A’s during the 2021 season.  The man I speak of is Andrew Chafin.

Andrew Chafin was a first round pick out of Kent State for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011. He began his career as a starter before being transitioned to a reliever.  Chafin saw success early on as a lefty specialist.  The implementation of the three batter rule provided some struggles for the lefty before he was traded to the Cubs during the 2020 shortened season.

The Sheriff pitched in 42.1 innings across 47 games as a Cub from 2020-2021.  In that time, the left-hander had an 8.5 K/9, .850 WHIP, struck out 40 batters while walking 13, and posted a 2.13 ERA. When players are traded midseason, they are not always able to keep up the performance they had  before being acquired by his new time. Not Chafin though. He pitched just as well in Oakland as he had prior to leaving Chicago.

Chafin became a free agent following the 2021 season and elected to sign a two-year contract with the Detroit Tigers.  Some of his statistics dipped a bit in 2022 but overall he showed his continued dominance out of the Detroit bullpen. His performance led to the pitcher exercising his opt-out clause following the 2022 season. This landed him on the free agent market as someone who should be a highly coveted reliever.

The Cubs could use another pitcher in their bullpen that they can rely on.  The team should be knocking down Chafin’s door to add the dominant lefty to their roster.  It should be an easy sell to Chafin.  He knows what it is like to play in Wrigley Field.  Chafin knows how to handle the pressure of pitching on the big stage.  He knows what David Ross expects out of him and the team as a whole.

This pitching staff could use another leader.  Andrew Chafin can be that person.  While still in his early 30’s, he should be able to pitch at a high level for a few more seasons as he heads towards his mid 30’s.  I’m not always a fan of a player returing to a team from his past, I feel like Chafin coming back will lead to good things for Chafin and the Cubs as a whole.  When it comes to rounding out the Cubs bullpen, Andrew Chafin should be a no-brainer.

Featured Image: Caean Couto, AP

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