The Arizona Diamondbacks have just announced via their official twitter account that they have outright right-handed starter Jhoulys Chacin.
After hearing of this assignment, and clearing waivers, Chacin has elected to test his value on the free agent market.
This is likely to be the first of many moves to come as the D-backs try to clear space on the 40-man roster for upcoming free agent signings, trades, and protections for Rule 5 draft eligible prospects.
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Chacin, 27, was eligible for his third year of arbitration and has accumulated just over five years of service time at the major-league level. MLB Trade Rumors projected him to make $1.8 million in arbitration this winter after making $1,352,459 in 2015.
The D-backs signed Chacin to a minor-league deal in June in order to add rotational depth.
He only pitched 26.2 innings in the majors this year after spending his first 6 seasons with the Colorado Rockies, yet he performed relatively well. Chacin went 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA while recording 21 strikeouts, ten walks, and allowing four home runs. All his time at the big league level this season was spent with the D-backs.
Going through the arbitration process with Chacin, even with his modest projected raise in salary, was apparently more than the D-backs front office were willing to do and that led to today’s decision.
The D-backs could still try to pursue him on the open market, and it wouldn’t surprise me. He is only 27, and Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa said he saw enough of Chacin to think that he can be a valuable asset to the D-backs in 2016. However, that determination as to whether or not to pursue Chacin will likely come down to what offers he receives on the open market.
The team can also explore other external and internal options, and one can make the argument that Chacin wouldn’t be as attractive as these other potentially available alternatives.
For now, the D-backs 40 man roster stands at 39.