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Jesse Chavez Was Traded More Often Than Any Other Player
ALSO: ATHLETICS CONTINUE TO SEND THEIR BEST PLAYERS TO THE YANKEES
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Did you know…
Not including Odorizzi’s potential incentive bonuses or buyout, the trades put the Braves’ 2022 payroll at about $181 million, According to calculations by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves payroll is now a club-record $181 million — 39 per cent above the $130 million at the start of last season and up 22 per cent from the $148 million at the end of last season. The Braves’ payroll ranks eighth among the 30 MLB teams, after factoring in Jake Odorizzi’s contract. The Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, and Yankees have payrolls above $250 million each.
Logical trade that was never made: Madison Bumgarner (Arizona) for Marcell Ozuna (Atlanta) . . .
Despite his low batting average, the Braves wanted switch-hitting outfielder Robbie Grossman because he murders left-handed pitching . . .
Former Padres closer Kirby Yates should do a lot more for the Atlanta pen than star-crossed lefty Will Smith, who was traded to Houston after multiple demotions . . .
Darrell Evans hit 40 homers in both leagues but led his league only once, with 40 for the 1985 Detroit Tigers . . .
Scott Rolen, Andruw Jones, and Billy Wagner are the three top holdovers on the Hall of Fame ballot.
Jesse Chavez Was Involved In More Trades Than Any Other Player
By Dan Schlossberg
It’s almost laughable.
Go to Baseball-Reference.com and look up the list of transactions at the bottom of the Jesse Chavez player page.
It’s almost as long as the list of records held by Hank Aaron.
Chavez, traded again seconds before the Aug. 2 deadline, has been traded nine times in his 15-year career. And that’s not including the multiple times he’s been designated for assignment, granted free agency, or signed with a new club as a free agent.
He was actually doing pretty well this year in his third tour with the Atlanta Braves. In 31 games, he had a 1-1 record with 47 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings pitched. Not bad for a nondescript guy earning the minimum $700,000 and hanging on for dear life to the last rung of his team’s 26-man roster.
Chavez, who turns 39 in a couple of weeks, is a California native who stands 6-1 and weighs 175 pounds. He’s leaving a world champion for an also-ran — the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim — but at least he’s going home.
The durable right-hander was swapped to The Big A with young lefty starter Tucker Davidson for high-priced Angels closer Raisel Iglesias, a 32-year-old Cuban righty who’s had three 30-save seasons. He earns $16 million a year under a contract that binds him to his new team, the Braves, through the 2025 season.
But getting back to Chavez:
He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 39th round of the 2001 amateur draft but did not sign. Then he was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 42nd round of the 2002 draft, signing his first pro contract on May 17, 2003.
Then his odyssey begins:
Traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006
Traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009
Traded to the Atlanta Braves in 2009
Traded to the Kansas City Royals in 2010
Claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays 2011
Purchased by the Oakland Athletics in 2012
Traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015
Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016
Traded by Texas to the Chicago Cubs in 2018
Traded by the Cubs to the Atlanta Braves in April 2022
Traded to the Los Angeles Angels in August 2022
Suitcase Simpson had nothing on this guy. Beyond all the trades, he’s been a free agent five times. And he’s so durable that he’ll probably be around for another dozen deals.
Pitchers who throw strikes are invaluable and the fast-working Chavez fits that description. The Braves were sorry to see him go but had to find a long-term closer with Kenley Jansen on an expiring, one-year contract worth $17 million and Will Smith sent packing in an even-up swap for starter Jake Odorizzi, who gets his first Atlanta start today against the Mets in New York.
Chavez was an invaluable part of the Atlanta relief corps, a collection that has posted the best composite earned run average of any National League team. The Braves will miss the veteran long man, who specialized in shortening innings. But the betting is that he’ll be back — for the fourth time.
Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has covered baseball for 53 years, written 40 books on the game, and accepted numerous speaking and book-signing engagements. Check out website www.danschlossberg.net or e.mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A’s Continue Sorry History As Yankee Feeder Team
By Dan Schlossberg
It’s been going on for so long that it’s a wonder no Commissioner has stopped it.
For more than half-a-century, in both Kansas City and Oakland, the Athletics have scouted, drafted, signed, and trained good players and then “rewarded” them with trades to the New York Yankees.
Needless to say, such a system made the Yanks richer and A’s poorer but that’s baseball.
The latest deal made Yankees of Frankie Montas, a front-line starter, and fellow right-hander Lou Trivino, who has a live arm, and left Oakland with a soggy tunafish sandwich even Oscar Madison wouldn’t touch.
The list of similar transgressions is long and sad.
Remember Roger Maris? He not only went from the A’s to the Yankees but promptly won consecutive MVP awards.
A year later, the A’s sent Bud Daley, their best pitcher, to the Bronx.
Hector Lopez, an outfielder-third baseman who was bad defensively at both positions, also rode the shuttle from Kansas City to New York.
Years later, the A’s sent Sonny Gray, a solid starting pitcher, to the Yankees.
By then, future Hall of Famers Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, and Rickey Henderson had played for both clubs.
The whole thing started when Arnold Johnson bought the struggling Philadelphia A’s and in 1954 moved them to Kansas City, a smaller market but one he didn’t have to share with another major-league team.
Johnson had actually owned part of the Yankees during the pre-Steinbrenner years but he sold his share in order to acquire his own team.
Before Maris was even in the picture, the A’s had established a player pipeline that led directly from Missouri to New York. Such future Yankee World Series heroes as Art Ditmar, Bobby Shantz, Enos Slaughter, and Clete Boyer suddenly became Yankees. Never mind that the compact Shantz had won 24 games and the American League MVP award for the A’s in 1952.
The deals left the A’s bereft of decent talent. While they were finishing last every year, the Yankees were using the former A’s to win five flags in six years (without playoffs).
Henderson, en route to single-season and career records for stolen bases, went from the A’s to the Yanks in a seven-man swap late in 1984, then went back to Oakland for three years five years later — after Rickey had worn out his welcome in the Bronx.
He later stole his 939th base, passing Lou Brock for first place on the lifetime list, against the Yankees. That happened on May 1, 1991.
Even when Charlie Finley was dominating the American League West and winning three straight world championships in Oakland, the shuttle slowed only slightly. He was outspoken about not trading with the Yankees but tried to copy their short right-field fence and borrowed other ideas as well.
Reggie Jackson, who escaped Finley via free agency, was World Series MVP for the A’s in 1973 and for the Yankees four years later. In between, he made a pit stop in Baltimore (after Finley refused to trade him to New York).
The Montas trade is just the latest slap in the face for long-suffering fans of the Athletics. The team ranks 29th in payroll, topping only the Baltimore Orioles, at $45,320,555. Gone from last year are such productive players as Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Sean Manaea, and now Montas and Trivino.
Sweetening the deal, from the New York perspective, Montas is under team control through next season and Trivino is under team control through 2024.
The Yankees, seeking their first world championship since 2009, jumped off to a great start this year and entered play Friday with a 70-36 mark, good for a 10 1/2 game bulge over the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East.
And Oakland? Don’t ask. They’re 41-66, 28 games behind Houston in the AL West, and 16 game removed from the wild-card race — even with playoffs expanded to 12 teams.
Maybe the A’s will move to Las Vegas, reap some of that casino gold, and rebuild to what they once were. But it won’t happen if they continue to send their best to New York — especially with woefully insufficient return.
Their green-and-gold uniforms explain what’s going on:
It seems obvious that the green in their uniforms represents the money the Yankees continue to rake in as the chief beneficiary of Oakland’s largesse. And the gold symbolizes the pot the Yanks will find at the end of the rainbow if they realize their championship dreams.
Maybe the A’s should go back to the red-and-blue scheme they used to wear.
Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ covers the game for forbes.com, Latino Sports, USA TODAY Sports Weekly, and Sports Collectors Digest. Reach him at email@example.com.
“The Mets are an old team, oldest in the NL. [Jacob] deGrom is one of a slew of important players who will be free agents after the season, including three-fifths of the starting rotation. No matter how much cash Steve Cohen may have, they won’t have everyone back.”
— Mike Vaccaro in The New York Post
Juan Soto led the majors with a .495 on-base percentage in July . . .
The biggest splash made by a San Diego deadline acquisition was a first-pitch grand-slam by Brandon Drury Wednesday night . . .
New Yankee Frankie Montas finished sixth in last year’s AL Cy Young voting . . .
Lou Trivino, acquired from Oakland with Montas Monday, brought a 6.47 ERA to the bullpen in the Bronx . . .
Although owner Arte Moreno has balked so far, Shohei Ohtani will almost certainly be traded by the rebuilding Los Angeles Angels during the off-season . . .
On Aug. 2, 2007, the Yankees and White Sox both scored eight runs in the second inning of a game Chicago eventually won, 13-9 . . .
The first hit ever given up by Walter Johnson was a bunt single by Ty Cobb — a bunt !! — on Aug. 2, 1907.
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HERE’S THE PITCH is published daily except Sundays and holidays. Brian Harl [firstname.lastname@example.org] handles Monday and Tuesday editions, Elizabeth Muratore [email@example.com] does Wednesday and Thursday, and Dan Schlossberg [firstname.lastname@example.org] edits the weekend editions on Friday and Saturday. Readers are encouraged to contribute comments, articles, and letters to the editor. HTP reserves the right to edit for brevity, clarity, and good taste.