Chavez has a potential contract ready to be signed if he lands on the Yankees 40-man roster at the end of camp; but for now he is another non-roster invite so it costs the Yankees nothing.
This is Chavez shot at making a comeback, as he has been plagued with injuries over the last three seasons. Chavez has undergone two back operations and three shoulder surgeries in his career; and the most current being bulging discs in his neck.
Once a great player before all the injuries, Chavez had won six Gold Gloves from 2001-06 and a 2002 Silver Slugger. Chavez has played all his 13-seasons with the Oakland A’s, but was let go resulting from inactivity. From 2007-10 he only appeared in 64 games.
Wow, is anyone else thinking this sounds like a broken record?
Look, no one is denying that Chavez is just another name on GM Brian Cashman’s growing list of free agent ex-stars.
Chavez also falls into the category of being plagued by injury, which has kept him from baseball in recent seasons; but this signing is one with potential and here is why:
3 reasons Chavez might work out the Yankees:
“Chavez is among my favorite players I’ve ever covered – and one of my favorite people, period. It’s impossible not to like him: He’s honest, he’s accessible, he’s quotable, he treats everyone around him with respect. He’s just a genuinely nice person, and I have seen how hard he’s tried to get onto the field and stay on the field over the years, much of it without ever even mentioning how much pain he was in.”
2) The job of backing Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira comes with minimal pressure and tear on the body; Chavez would make an overly solid substitute for A-rod or Tex on their occasional days off. He could also be penciled in at DH for Jorge Posada if he is behind the plate or needs a rest.
3) When healthy, Chavez can hit and he draws a lot of walks. Over his career, Chavez has a .267 batting average, with 282 doubles, 230 homeruns, 565 walks and an on-base percentage of .343. Chavez is a great defender when everything is feeling good.
3 reasons why Chavez might not work for the Yankees:
1) Essentially, Chavez has been absent the last three seasons, leading some A’s fans to think he had already retired. So, can his body sustain playing at all, while trying to keep-up his great attitude in the clubhouse? This something Chavez has not been able to do in years.
2) In the past, Chavez has tried to play through injury, which has only made things worse. Considering he was almost forced into retirement as recently as four months ago, and that he just turned 33-years-old it would be presumed he is on a final mission. Making the team initially might make him mask the pain, which will only last for so long. Potentially it could annoy the Yankees, not cripple them. Skipper Joe Girardi doesn’t need to deal with anything else, as pitching should be the main focus and his plate is full.
3) As my mother always says, “Changing addresses is not a solution to long term problems.”
Overall, this could be one pick-up by Cashman that could have some pleasant upside if it pans out in Chavez favor and as a fan I hope it does.
One question that remains is if Chavez has been working so hard this off-season to make a thriving comeback, or is it mandatory just to keep him off the DL a little longer?
- Career Profile: Eric Chavez (minorleagueball.com)
- New York Yankees Depth: Can Justin Maxwell, Ronnie Belliard or Eric Chavez Help? (bleacherreport.com)
- Eric Chavez will try to earn spot with Yankees (sfgate.com)
- Eric Chavez, Yankees agree to minor-league deal (cbssports.com)
- After 13 years with A’s, Chavez going to Yanks (mlb.mlb.com)
- Source: Chavez, Yanks strike minor-league deal (theglobeandmail.com)
- Yankees Notes: Pettitte, Williams, Chavez (mlbtraderumors.com)