The Cubs began to make their moves ahead of the trade deadline Friday, agreeing to deal left-hander Andrew Chafin to the Athletics on Monday for minor-league outfielder Greg Deichmann and minor-league right hander Daniel Palencia.
The Cubs acquired Chafin at the trade deadline last season from the Diamondbacks and though he wasn’t with the Cubs for long, he quickly established himself as both a clubhouse and fan favorite.
“This guy’s a culture changer,” manager David Ross said after the Cubs’ 6-5 win. “This guy’s been a leader in the bullpen. The way he takes the ball right or left, it doesn’t matter what situation I’m bringing him in, it’s the same stuff.
“Really nice pitcher and a really nice human being that goes out and does his job and [is] a really good teammate. We’re gonna miss him.”
Chafin was one of Ross’ most trustworthy high-leverage arms during his Cubs’ tenure and after re-signing with the Cubs in the offseason, he took off in 2021. The left-hander found out of his departure during the game, according to Ross, who said he knew to stay away from him with the deal close.
The Cubs’ southpaw has been a force at the back of the bullpen with right-hander Ryan Tepera and closer Craig Kimbrel. He was 0-2 with a sparkling 2.06 ERA in 46 games with the Cubs this season.
“I grabbed him when we when he came off the field,” Ross said. “He told me, ‘One bad outing and I get traded?’ He made me laugh pretty good at that one.”
Chafin’s personality resonated not only within the Cubs clubhouse, but the fanbase and while he’s leaving town, there’s no question what he brought won’t be forgotten.
“He’s just he’s an unbelievable teammate,” starter Kyle Hendricks said. “Unbelievable human being, overall. The energy, the positivity he brings in every single day, you can’t replace it. Oakland’s real lucky in who they’re getting.”
“You guys got a good taste of his personality. I think it was that much more obviously in the clubhouse,” infielder Nico Hoerner said. “Really positive person as well as somebody who’s performing at a really, really high level. Definitely someone you want on your team.”
Chafin is now the second player dealt by the Cubs during trade season, with several others still in play before the deadline. The team traded outfielder Joc Pederson to the Braves on July 15.
Deichmann, 26, is playing at Triple-A Las Vegas and where he’s slashing .300/.433/.452 with four homers in 60 games. Palencia, 21, 0-2 with a 6.91 ERA at Low-A Stockton and sports an upper 90s fastball that can hit triple digits.