Buying Pitching Doesn’t Need to be Expensive


The Brewer’s starting rotation this year has been injury filled and at times inconsistent. FA acquisition Jhoulys Chacin had been the steady power in the sometimes uncertainty of the starting rotation.

Chacin was for sure one of the more overlooked pitcher FA from 2018. Halfway through the season he looks to be one of the “gems”. Guys like Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta who were projected to be big additions to any team have, in a way, under performed.

Chacin, by far, was the cheapest signing out of the three pitchers. Looking at stats like FIP (fielding independent pitching) and WAR (wins above replacement) Jhoulys Chacin is showing the best value and “bang-for-the-buck”.

Team Player FIP WAR Contract
MIL Jhoulys Chacin 3.93 1.8 $15.5mil/2 years
PHI Jake Arrieta 4.06 1.5 $75mil/3 years
CHC Yu Darvish 4.85 0.2 $126mil/6 years


There is not much of a difference between Arrieta and Chacin.  However, the Brewers come out on top. The Brewers were able to get Chacin at a fraction of the cost of Arrieta. This is key for a small market team – like the Brewers – trying to contend with larger market teams like the Cubs and Phillies.

The Brewers rotation this year has been a little bit shaky at times.  Because of this, they have been linked to many pitchers currently on the trading block. Two pitchers that fit in this category are Chris Archer and Jacob deGrom. Both have been mentioned and linked with the Brewers. Stearns has mentioned that if they were to trade for a starting pitcher, he would want someone to lead the rotation. Archer and deGrom would definitely lead the rotation. Here is how they compare to Jhoulys Chacin.

Team Player FIP WAR
MIL Jhoulys Chacin 3.93 1.8
TB Chris Archer 3.50 1.7
NYM Jacob deGrom 2.32 4.4


Jacob deGrom clearly is the best out of the three and one of the best in the league. While Chris Archer is quite comparable to Jhoulys Chacin and in a trade sense most likely “cheaper”. Although, adding one of these pitchers could make the team even more dangerous. It comes down to the price. How much David Stearns be willing to give up in terms of prospects.

Highly touted prospects like Keston Hiura, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta are going to be brought up many times in trade discussions. Whether Stearns is okay with trading one of those guys is yet to be determined.

The moral of the story is Chacin has been a inexpensive weapon for the Brewers this season. Sometimes “buying high” is not always going to get the “highest” results. Trading for another top pitcher could be very costly in much the same way.  Will it be worth it to “buy high” on the trade market? Only time will tell.


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