Jesse Chavez is a 26-year-old right-handed reliever formerly of the Texas Rangers organization. He moved to Pittsburgh in the Kip Wells deal of 2006 and has pitched out of their bullpen parts of the last two seasons.
In 82.3 innings in the Majors Chavez has posted a 4.79 FIP and 5.41 tRA. His batted ball profile is similar and he's had issues with home runs. He throws quite hard (an average velocity of 94.4) and features a slider and change-up as secondary pitches. His career contact% against is 78.8% and he's shown affinity for causing hitters to chase outside of the strike zone. He's posted xFIP of 4.1 and 4.48, which is reasonable, albeit a bit presumptuous that his home run issues can be fixed. His fastball appears to be a bit flat, which could be a cause of concern.
Chavez' change-up recorded 13% whiffs and his fastball near 8%. That bodes well, all things considered, and he sort of resembles a poor man's Brandon League. Obviously he's not a sexy name, but baseball knew the Rays were in a difficult position with Akinori Iwamura. There was no way he was returning for that salary and draft compensation was not an option, so the Rays' hands were tied. Chavez has the chance to turn into a nice piece for the 2010 bullpen. In a vacuum, this deal favors the Pirates.
Worth noting is that Chavez' role last year included a MOP of 0.96 - by comparison Grant Balfour's MOP was 1.2 - meaning he was more than just a janitor and a little less than a true set-up man. His career splits to date are expectedly reversed given that great change-up. In 169 plate appearances his OPS versus lefties is .690 and in 191 his OPS against righties is .907. He's Joe Nelson in that regard.