Evaluation of Andrew Chafin as a St. Louis Cardinals free agent target
Andrew Chafin makes a lot of sense as a free agent target for the St. Louis Cardinals, both form-wise and need-wise, and he should be in their price range.
In the rotation, the St. Louis Cardinals have four right-handed pitchers and only one left-handed. Although they have several southpaws in the bullpen, including Genesis Cabrera and TJ McFarland, they are set to lose Andrew Miller in free agency.
So it would make sense for Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak to pursue another left-handed reliever once the lockdown ends – and Jim Bowden of The Athletic believes that Andrew Chafin would be an ideal target for free agents.
Chafin, 31, has somehow not been connected to the Cardinals so far, with Joe Kelly, Ryan Tepera and Collin McHugh attracting the most buzz. But Chafin is coming off a strong season in which he posted a 1.83 ERA and 2.9 WAR in 68.2 innings with the Chicago Cubs and Oakland A’s last season.
Unlike the other three names listed above, Chafin shouldn’t cost that much. While Kelly, who is expected to sign a multi-year contract worth $6-7 million per season, would be out of the Cardinals’ price range, Chafin will be cheaper. He could land a one- or two-year contract worth around $4 million per season, which would leave plenty of room for the Cardinals to make other moves, perhaps to add another reliever, pitcher. starter and/or infielder.
The Cardinals obviously know Chafin, having seen him pitch for the Cubs, and he posted a career 2.40 ERA in 17 appearances (15 innings) and a strikeout ratio of 17/4. He wouldn’t make the same headlines as Kelly or Tepera, but from a need (left-handed reliever) and form (end-inning, high-leverage reliever) perspective, Chafin might be the best pick of them all.
Chafin is a name to watch. Same with Brad Boxberger.