Possible Atlanta Braves bullpen trade targets: JT Chargois

The Atlanta Braves might want to consider acquiring reliever JT Chargois from the Mariners. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Braves might want to consider acquiring reliever JT Chargois from the Mariners. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports /

This pitcher is operating a bit under the radar, but that doesn’t mean that the Atlanta Braves shouldn’t consider acquiring him.

It’s perhaps an odd trade match-up between the Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves right now, given that Seattle has a better record, but their chances of getting to the post-season are a lot worse.

In addition to their own NL West being a big part of their problem, the Mariners’ chances took a body-blow today as Hector Santiago became the first pitcher hit with a 10-game “sticky substance suspension”.  The fact that Seattle is not permitted to replace him on the roster will leave them short-handed for the duration of the penalty.

So perhaps their willingness to deal might have increased slightly?

The door to the trade market opened a bit today — validating Robert Murray’s report from Monday — when the Blue Jays acquired two players from the Marlins.  They were one of the two teams said to be most aggressively pursuing relief help.

That leaves the Atlanta Braves as the other such club… so let’s talk about a possible option from Seattle… except it’s not Kendall Graveman.

J.T. Chargois is a 30-year-old right-hander from the western side of Louisiana.  Originally a 2nd round pick by the Twins in 2012 out of Rice University, he debuted in 2016 with the Twins.

He spent 2017 in AAA before being claimed by the Dodgers on waivers in 2019.  After that season, they released him to allow an opportunity for Chargois to go to Japan (Rakutan), where he pitched in 2020.

The Mariners picked him up for the 2021 season, and he’s blossomed a bit.  Given all the attention to spin rates and sticky things, it’s fair to ask about his possible reliance on such things given the improved numbers this year, but he’s not been reliant on high spin rate.

Chargois is a Slider/Sinker pitcher, and gets a 36.5% whiff rate on his slider, a higher rate than Luke Jackson’s slider despite using an average of 150 rpm less spin.

All of that adds up to a WHIP of 0.75, walk rate of 1.27 per 9 innings, 9+ strikeouts per game, and a very low homer rate.

In 21 appearances, Chargois looks to have been used as an emergency fireman at times, with some mixed results.  His ERA is currently 2.53, which is the result of being charged with his own runs on only 4 occasions (one of those coming during a 2 inning stint).

He has faced the minimum number of batters 11 times, and allowed just one hitter to reach in 6 others.

Chargois still has lots of team control — not even arbitration-eligible until 2023 — but his history should make him cheap to acquire… perhaps as an add-on to another deal if the Braves and Mariners could see eye-to-eye on such a thing.

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As we’ve suggested before, the Braves could probably use multiple arms to help their relief corps, so someone like Chargois could help make that happen without having to empty the farm system.