The Atlanta Braves brought back an old friend to reinforce their bullpen and added yet another leg to his 15-year journey.
Chavez adds more experience to a relief corps many already believed the best in the league, and fans will remember how valuable he was in last season’s World Series chase, but calling Jesse a veteran reliever understates his career.
A long and winding road indeed.
"The long and winding road That leads to your door Will never disappear I’ve seen that road before It always leads me here (John Lennon / Paul McCartney)"
If you look up “journeyman” in a baseball dictionary, you could well find a picture of Jesse Chavez. Selected by the Rangers in the 42nd round of the 2002 draft under the draft-and-follow rule and signed him on May 17, 2003.
He began his career as a starter and struck out a lot of batters; unfortunately, he also walked a lot of batters. The Rangers moved him to the bullpen, hoping to use him as a late-inning reliever, but never got the chance.
At the deadline in 2006, the Rangers traded Chavez to the Pirates for Kip Wells. Chavez finally made his Major League debut against the Cubs on August 27, 2008.
He went on to make 15 appearances for the Bucs, finishing the year with an ERA that looked a lot worse than how he actually pitched… that thanks to a 2 run stint during his 2nd-ever appearance, plus a 4-run outburst late in the year.