MESA, Ariz. — The Chicago Cubs have signed Jesse Chavez to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to big league camp, adding the veteran reliever after he had a strong year with the champion Atlanta Braves.
The 38-year Chavez posted a 2.14 ERA in 33 2/3 innings last season after being called up for a start in June. He also pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in the postseason.
Chavez appeared in 32 games with Chicago in 2018, going 2-1 with a 1.15 ERA over 39 innings.
The right-hander was waived by the Los Angeles Angels at the end of spring training last year. He signed with the Braves last April and made 13 appearances for Triple-A Gwinnett before returning to the majors.
Then Chavez’s possible landings spots for 2022 were put on hold with the lockout.
“I was on a high after last season and then kind of get stuck in no man’s land for a few months,” he said Sunday. “Then you had to pick up right away and (decide) where are we going to go.”
Chavez is expected to provide a veteran presence in what could be a young bullpen.
“I’ll take what I have learned throughout the years and try help these young guys so they can have a long successful career,” Chavez said. “I’m up for anything. I’m personable and easy to talk to. There is no wrong conversation you can’t have out there in the bullpen, especially for the young guys. The hardest part is asking the question and I’ve been there.”
Chavez made his big league debut with Pittsburgh in 2008. He is 44-60 with a 4.44 ERA in 511 games for nine major league teams.
“Being able to put this uniform on, walk through the ivy and those gates was awesome,” he said. “And I want to do it again.”