It’s no secret that Tyler Chatwood’s time with the Chicago Cubs was a disappointment. After Theo Epstein and Jed Heuer signed a three-year contract with him for $38 million in December 2017, Chatwood became the fifth starter after John Lester, Yu Darwish, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana. It would be the deadly Chicago Cubs that would rotate for the next three seasons, but that scenario was not executed.
Tyler Chatwood Team Business
In 2018 Chatwood experienced serious command problems in the order of 8.25 BB/9, the worst value of the MLB. The second worst was 5.29. So, yeah, tough is an understatement. Chatwood’s inefficiency led Theo Epstein to buy Cole Hamels on time, as Epstein was forced to maintain rotation until the start of the off-season. The Kabbahs fought for a pennant and couldn’t just sit on their hands and pray for Chatwood to solve the problem. After only 3.5 months, Tyler Chatwood was demoted.
Picture : Ed Zurga/Getty pictures
Although in retrospect the purchase of Tyler Chatwood was a mistake by Theo Epstein and Jed Heuer, the thinking process was put to the test. Epstein and Hoyer probably thought Chatwood would improve on the Colorado Rocks after 4.09 ERA because he didn’t have to throw every other start. Chatwood always had an elitist view of things, but he had a problem with the command. An example of this is the 4.08 BB/9, the sixth MLB course in 2012-2017. So they thought they could alleviate his command problems and use his potential while giving him the landscapes of change he needed.
Instead, Chatwood scored 4.70 ERA with the Cubs in three seasons. Although it seems bad enough already, the situation will soon get worse. Chatwood only started 30 games in those three seasons. An effective introduction in one season. For example, Kaba actually paid ~13 million dollars a year for the average landfill. Off-season takeovers are no worse. The signing of Tyler Chatwood was one of Theo Epstein’s worst mistakes during the Cubs’ tenure, along with Tommy La Stella’s deal.
Teddy bears focus on low-risk, high-yield compounds
I’m sure at this point you’re wondering why I’m pointing out how bad Chatwood has been with the Cubs when I’m pleading that Jed Heuer bring him back in 2021. The answer is simple: cost. The Cubs will not add any significant amount during this off-season. We all know that. So why don’t you give Chatwood a chance to make a low-risk deal, a year to prove it? Between his historical problems with the command, his inability to stay in the first rotation and his injury in 2020, organizations will offer him no more than $1 to $1.5 million a year. He can only get a contract with a minor league.
Not only will Chatwood be cheap, it also has an advantage. At the beginning of 2020, it ignited a new flame which immediately triggered its 0.71 ERA at the first two launches. See for yourself how uncomfortable the cutter was.
Then, at the third start, he was injured shortly afterwards. In a normal season with 162 players, Chatwood would have had a chance to prove itself if these first two starts showed who he really was in 2020. But the shortened season has ruled that out. No one will treat these first two with much respect.
Instead, organizations will look at Tyler Chatwood’s unfortunate 2018 and 2019 seasons and think it’s over. And that’s why he’s good for the Cubs. It is a low-risk destination, with a high percentage of free agents, which fits perfectly with the Cubs’ financial situation. If Chatwood had been healthy in 2020 and these high numbers had been set for 4 to 6 new starts, it would probably have fallen out of Jed Heuer’s price range this winter.
If one of Jed Heuer’s pitchers has to come back, it is Chatwood.
There’s a rumor about the pitcher who should get the Cubs back: Jose Quintana, John Lester or Tyler Chatwood. Honestly, the correct answer is clear. Although Quintana is the safest choice because of its strength (except for last season) and consistency over the years, it doesn’t have the advantages of Chatwood. It will also be much more expensive.
Apparently, John Lester’s a fan. Still, he’s definitely the worst of the three. He is the oldest, does not have a bull’s-eye view and has lost his life in almost all his repertoire. And it’s not a hit against Lester. He’d probably admit all these weaknesses himself. Yeah, he’s the best fried man in the history of Chicago Cubs. But making decisions based on past performance and nostalgia is exactly what Kaba shouldn’t do in this off-season.
The organization must continue, and that’s exactly what Theo Epstein asked the Cubs to do. The step in the right direction was taken by Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora. But that’s not all. Every year the Cubs have to make more moves if they want to win a very successful Central Los Angeles, assuming there is no full toast.
Unlike Quintana and Lester, Chatwood will be cheap, it has the advantage of being a good starting point and has proven to be a productive backup plan. Given the financial situation of the Kabbos, Chatwood is worth a try. Theo Epstein and Jed Heuer bought Jeremy Jeffress last season as a free agent, cheap and very well paid. How’s it going with the Cubs?