Chavez For Soriano: Maybe a Second Or Third Look Is Needed

Benjamin upchurchContributor IIDecember 10, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 09:  Jesse Chavez #43 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the New York Mets on May 9, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Pirates 10-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

On my initial look at the Soriano/Chavez trade I nearly punched a hole in my wall.

Comparing Chavez to Soriano major stats in 2009 is extremely one sided.

Soriano had a outstanding year 2.97(ERA)/102(K)/1.06(WHIP).

Chavez had a decent year for a first year reliever 4.01(ERA)/47(K)/1.35(WHIP). Chavez has also shown a weakness for RH batters.

Why would the braves trade a highly rated veteran for a unknown?  Maybe a second look will help answer that.

Looking deeper opens up some different points for Chavez though.  Both Chavez and Soriano had 4 blown saves in 2009.  Soriano did have 8.1 more innings that year plus Chavez did play for the Pirates. While pitching for a losing team, Chavez had only 2 less HLD's than Gonzalez in 2009. Soriano worst month last year was September, his ERA was over 2 runs higher than Chavez.

On second look maybe the Braves realized something nobody else did.

If you look farther into Soriano's career, you find that he's missed almost 3 complete seasons due to injury.  Chavez pitched 67.1 innings for the pirates in 2009.  2007 was the first year Soriano pitched more innings than this.  So already Chavez can pitch more innings than Soriano could at the same age 3 years ago.

Another reason why Chavez is a good pick up is that he's still fresh to the majors.  Last Year I was lucky to sit down and talk to Eric O'Flaherty.  He was truly excited to join the Braves.  He said the majority of pitchers today dream of pitching for the Braves. I'm hoping that Chavez will have the same feelings about joining the team.

So on a deeper look Chavez for Soriano was not a horrible deal.  

If you still feel that this was a bad trade remember one thing.  Frank Wren always consults Bobby Cox on his evaluation on a players talent.