Twins pass on former Braves reliever after injuries to Jhoan Duran and Caleb Thielbar (Updated)

Minnesota found an interesting way to add some bullpen depth after a pair of key injuries.
Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves
Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

UPDATE (3/24): Twins Daily retracted its report that Minnesota was signing Chavez. He won't be added to the roster, but the news came before the team revealed Justin Topa would begin the season on the IL, so who knows if they circle back around now that there's a glaring need for bullpen help.

Original story begins below.

Rather than comfortably locking in a lineup to begin the season with, the Minnesota Twins are spending the last few days before Opening Day scrambling to make up for a barrage of injuries.

Last week was a brutal one for Minnesota, as the Twins lost Jhoan Duran and Caleb Thielbar from a bullpen that is ranked near the top of the entire league. It's not clear how long those guys will be out, but it creates a void in the meantime that the front office tried to fill on Sunday.

Without Duran, the back of the bullpen will see guys like Brock Stewart and Griffin Jax get a heavier workload but Thielbar's absence creates a need in earlier innings. That's why the Twins went out and signed recently released Chicago White Sox reliever Jesse Chavez to a big league deal.

Twins sign former Braves reliever after injuries to Jhoan Duran and Caleb Thielbar

According to Twins Daily's John Bonnes, Minnesota signed veteran reliever Jesse Chavez to add some depth to the bullpen as Opening Day approaches. The idea is that Chavez will begin the year on the 26-man roster, which means someone we thought might be an injury replacement will have to continue waiting.

It seemed like Kody Funderburk was in line to make the Opening Day roster after the injuries to Duran and Thielbar, but Chavez is now expected to take that spot. It's an interesting decision, as Chavez is a 40-year-old reliever who will be joining the 12th team of his career, but he's been pretty solid the last few seasons.

Over the last three years Chavez posted a 2.81 ERA in 138 innings, and had a 1.56 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 35 innings for the Braves last season. He projects to be a middle innings guy who can go long if the Twins need him to, which could come in handy early in the season especially if this is a finite relationship that won't last.

That's up in the air, though, as Chavez was brought in over a guy like Funderburk for a reason. If he can give Minnesota innings like what he provided Atlanta last year, he might end up sticking around longer than some are expecting.

Of course, the flip side of that coin is wondering how long the Twins front office will hold on if thigns get bumpy. Chavez is clearly an emergecny injury option, and if he struggles how soon will the plug get pulled in favor of someone else in the minors?

For now, Chavez seems like a decent, albeit cliché, Twins addition. It doesn't really move the needle but it also doesn't have to.

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