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Cubs Trade RHP Jesse Chavez to Braves for LHP Sean Newcomb

Jesse Chavez reunites with the Braves as the Cubs receive Sean Newcomb in return.

Sean Newcomb Chicago Cubs Trade
Photo: MLB.com

Coming into the season, the Chicago Cubs had a glaring hole in their bullpen. The only left-handed reliever on the active roster has been Daniel Norris. But that changed Wednesday night due to a trade. The Cubs acquired LHP Sean Newcomb from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for RHP Jesse Chavez and a cash consideration.

Although Chavez had a solid Spring Training that earned him a roster spot, his regular season didn’t start well. Chavez allowed four earned runs in his first 3.1 innings. Overall, he leaves the Cubs with a 6.35 ERA in 5.2 innings. Chavez returns to Atlanta, where he won a World Series last year.

As mentioned above, the Cubs desperately needed another southpaw in their bullpen. Newcomb started his career as a starting pitcher, but he’s been pitching predominantly out in relief for the Braves over the last four years. 86 of his last 94 games pitched have come out of the bullpen. His 2022 season hasn’t started much differently than Chavez. In five innings pitched, he has a 7.20 ERA and 2.20 WHIP.

The trade makes sense from both sides. Last year, Jesse Chavez had success with the Atlanta Braves, pitching in 30 games with a 2.14 ERA. The Chicago Cubs have shown the ability to get pitchers into their pitch lab and work with them, especially those who throw curveballs. Sean Newcomb hasn’t thrown his curveball much this season (only 9.3%), but it’s been a key pitch for him in the past, and only one season of six has seen opponents hit higher than .189 against the offspeed offering.

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