Shortly after the Athletics announced they had acquired lefty reliever Andrew Chafin from the Chicago Cubs four days before the July 30 MLB trade deadline, fans in Wrigleyville flooded social media with messages to fans in Oakland, saying “Take care of him.”
Chafin obviously left a mark on his previous teams just by his makeup alone.
A’s manager Bob Melvin told reporters after the trade that he knew Chafin was a bit of a free spirit, and on Saturday, he spoke about how the reliever has fit in so far.
“He’s great,” Melvin said ahead of the A's game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. “He’s not the most vocal guy in the world, at least not around me, but he’s a fun-loving guy and it never looks like anything is bothering him too much. I think he enjoys playing baseball and enjoys life in general and that’s the part that shows up for me. He’s always got a smile on his face and is always looking to pitch and get in there to contribute. Those are the type of guys that seem to acclimate to whatever team they’re on, that have those types of personalities and he’s fit in really well here.”
Personality aside, Chafin's 2.06 ERA in 39 1/3 innings with the Cubs was the reason the A's brought him to the Bay Area before they bolstered the offense with the acquisitions of Starling Marte, Josh Harrison and Yan Gomes. Now in green and gold, Chafin is boasting a 0.00 ERA with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
Additionally, Chafin is holding batters to a .136 average with only an 86.3 average exit velocity -- that’s in the top nine percent of the league.
A’s general manager David Forst had been saying since April that adding to the bullpen was a top priority for the team, and adding Chafin at the end of July fulfilled that need.
Chafin’s wild hair and the way he walks around sporting his “failed starter” shirt prove he would blend into the already laidback-demeanor of the A's.
When NBC Sports California interviewed him right when he was acquired, Chafin’s attitude was every bit what Melvin described.
“You got to have fun with everything on a day-to-day basis or this season or this lifestyle will just tear you to pieces,” Chafin said.