A long-term deal didn’t make a lot of sense after Jhoulys Chacin’s poor 2012 season, but the right-hander and Rockies did find common ground on a two-year, $6.5 million pact on Saturday.
The deal takes care of Chacin’s first two years of arbitration. He’ll again be eligible for arbitration in 2015 before he qualifies for free agency following that season.
The 25-year-old Chacin asked for $2.6 million and was offered $1.7 million in arbitration Assuming that the two sides would have settled at the $2.15 million midpoint, this essentially gets him under control for 2014 at $4.35 million.
Chacin looked like one of the NL’s most promising young pitchers two years ago, posting ERAs of 3.28 and 3.62 and WHIPs of 1.27 and 1.31 in his first two seasons with the Rockies. Adjusting for Coors Field, those were particularly strong marks.
Chacin, though, struggled right from the get-go in 2012, showing neither his usual velocity nor a quality slider before being diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and, later, a nerve issue in his chest. He did rebound at the very end of the season, though, going 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in his last nine starts.
Lifetime, Chacin has a 3.05 ERA in 29 starts and eight relief appearances away from Coors Field. He’s 23-31 with a 3.68 ERA overall.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.