Braves rumors: Fan favorite leaves, Sale expectations, surprise prospect ranking

  • Former Braves fan favorite Jesse Chavez has signed elsewhere.
  • What should Braves fans expect from Chris Sale this season?
  • A.J. Smith-Shawver fell out of the top-100 in some prospect rankings

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Braves Rumors: Jesse Chavez signs with the Chicago White Sox

Jesse Chavez has been open about the likelihood that he retires after the 2024 season. While the Braves maintained some interest in Chavez rejoining their bullpen, he instead signed a minor-league deal with the Chicago White Sox this week. Chavez had a 1.56 ERA in 36 appearances last year, but the metrics suggest that may be a bit misleading, as MLB Trade Rumors notes:

"That surely makes him look more dominant than he actually was, as his .273 batting average on balls in play and 81.2% strand rate were both on the lucky side. But his 27.1% strikeout rate, 8.3% walk rate, 51.7% ground ball rate, 3.05 FIP and 3.35 SIERA all suggest he was still quite an effective pitcher," Darragh McDonald wrote.

Chavez should receive an excellent opportunity in Chicago on a team that isn't expected to contend. The White Sox parted ways with many of their top bullpen pieces, including Aaron Bummer, who was traded to the Braves. Liam Hendricks is gone, as is Gregory Santos. The White Sox bullpen is virtually unrecognizable at this juncture.

While Chavez won't provide a cure for that illness, he's at least a proven veteran acquired on the cheap who can play a role in reviving the White Sox pitching staff.

In Atlanta last season, Chavez was a vital member of the Braves bullpen until mid-June, when he was struck in the shin by a Miguel Cabrera line drive. After that, Chavez made just five more appearances. The White Sox are betting that injury won't impact him in 2024. And if it does? Well, that minor-league deal might come in handy.

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