Yanks Looking to Fill DL Spot – Chavez Interested


"The bat is actually holding my arms up. Don't tell anyone." (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Yesterday, a name popped up in my feed that I hasn’t seen in a while: Eric Chavez. Apparently the man is out of rehab for the millionth time, is finally off the A’s payroll, and now he’s looking for a new team to help pay his medical bills. There were whispers that the Yanks might be interested in the guy, along with White Sox, Mariners and Blue Jays.

Chavez was drafted by the A’s in the first round in 1996 and destroyed his way through the minor leagues. He was a September call-up in 1998, and played his first full season only three years after being drafted. He signed away his arbitration years and stuck with the A’s longer than anyone not named Ricky Henderson with two different extensions: the first in the 2000 offseason, for four years and $11M, and the second in the 2004 offseason for six years and $66M. There was a seventh year club option, but Oakland declined, leaving him a free agent for this upcoming year.

For the Yankees, this is one big fat pass. No. Carry on. Nothing to see here. It’s not that Chavez isn’t a decent baseball player: he’s got some left-handed power and could be a good choice to hang out on the bench until we needed him. He hit 25 homers or more for five years straight and, at the height of his career, hit nearly 30 while taking a league-leading 95 walks. He also featured on that playoff-contending 2006 Oakland A’s team with Zito, Harden, Swisher, and Huston Street. He’s capable with the glove and plays third base. He’s certainly an upgrade to the Ramiuardo Penunez combination we play sometimes over there, so why not?

The problem is that Eric Chavez is made out of glass. It’s not the bulletproof glass they use in prison windows that never breaks, either. It’s the delicate, handblown glass that’s in those expensive little knick-knacks you put on your mantle and breathing on it wrong could shatter it into a million pieces. In the last three years, Chavez has been on the 60-day DL six times. He’s had two surgeries on his back, shoulder surgery, two bulging disks in his neck, and neurological pain in his elbow. The man is, for lack of a better description, a complete and total mess.The last time he showed up in 100 games was 2006. He hasn’t even been able to hit the 50 game mark in the past three years.

While it’s possible (if unlikely) that Chavez manages to stay healthy for a year, there’s absolutely no guarantee that he’d be able to recapture the power that would make him a decent bat off the bench. Even before his injuries, Chavez was losing grip on the power he needed to be effective. His OPS has been trending downward since 2004 even if you cut out the years he was too hurt to make an impact either way.

All in all, it’s a bad idea. While Chavez might have the potential to be a decent lefty pinch-hit bat, I don’t think he’d manage to stay healthy enough to be effective. Even if he does, it’s doubtful he’ll be able to wrap his hands around the power that made him good in his better seasons. He’s 33 years old right now and he’s not getting any younger. Maybe he’s someone to look into next season if everything goes right for him in 2011, but quite frankly our DL spot will probably be filled by Mark Prior, after being vacated by Nick Johnson (played in 24 games). The Blue Jays can have him. I hear they have good healthcare in Canada.

Categories : Players
  • jayd808

    The problem is that Eric Chavez is made out of glass. It’s not the bulletproof glass they use in prison windows that never breaks, either. It’s the delicate, handblown glass that’s in those expensive little knick-knacks you put on your mantle and breathing on it wrong could shatter it into a million pieces….

    Oh that was funny. Thanks for that.

    • Slugger27

      agreed. everyone knew immediately what type of glass she was talking about lol

    • brockdc

      Hilarious. I pictured a Precious Moments Eric Chavez figurine.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    Think Nick Johnson!

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_mandaura Steve H

      It’s even worse than that. Johnson was coming off a season in which he had 574 PA’s without the benefit of the DH. Chavez has 249 PA’s in the past 3 years combined.

      • radnom

        Yeah but Johnson was signed to be a starter, Chavez would be a bench guy at the most. I think Chavez on an extremely low cost/no risk deal would make sense for the Yankees actually, but probably wouldn’t for Chavez. Its not like Nunez and Pena wouldn’t be waiting in AAA in the event he gets injured/sucks. A little bench depth never hurt anything.

    • Slugger27

      he makes nicky J look like cal ripken

    • Al

      Except Chavez would be asked to come to the Yankees as a bench player. Not an everyday DH that pushes out the 2009 World Series MVP.

  • BigDavey88

    Awesome post! Loved the humor! Keep up the good work!

    /some guy on the internet.

    • BigDavey88

      Man that sounded way more enthusiastic then I meant it to be. I apologize for the excessive use of exclamation marks.

  • bonestock94

    What if he a safe bet? Wouldn’t he still have no purpose on the Yankees?

    • BigDavey88

      I don’t know how much his defense has suffered, if at all, but if he was guaranteed not to get hurt he’s better than Edwarmiro Penez.

      I mean if we’re talking 25th roster spot anyway.

      • Accent Shallow

        Ehh, the only reason those jokers are here is because they can play short. That’s not on Chavez’s resume.

  • http://www.superkyle.tk Engelbert

    Damn right we have great healthcare.

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.


    • Brian

      All Canadians come to America for healthcare

      • Poopy Pants

        I bet they would if they could.

        • Brian

          i sincerely doubt it

  • Chops

    “He’s capable with the glove and plays third base”

    He can’t play third base.

  • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

    …but he’s hot.

    Sorry, had to.


    • Yankeegirl49

      I saw that coming…
      Every year I would get tix vs The A’s so you could see him and every year he was on the DL. Hot or not..no thanks!

  • CYanksfan

    Watch, if the red sox sign him it’s genius!

    • I Voted 4 Kodos


  • FIPster Doofus

    Bring back Nick.

  • Reggie C.

    Such a damn shame with how injuries derailed this man’s career. Maybe Chavez wouldn’t have been a difference maker but at what point he put together a string of 5 legit All-Star campaigns.

    He’s an eggshell of a player these days. Pass indeed.

  • MikeD

    The call me Mr. Glass!


  • Preston

    He doesn’t even play 3B anymore does he? If he was still the guy that could give you above average d at the corners and a Lefty bat off of the bench than I’d be all over him. There are plenty of left handed guys we could pick up to be 1B/Dh options that are a lot safer bets than him. If he’ll take a minor league deal than let him come out and try to prove us all wrong, but definately nothing guaranteed.

  • Midland TX

    In support of your last paragraph:


  • Jonathan

    it’s hard to see the harm in a minor league deal. hell we just signed bartolo fat fuck colon. If he’s hurt, no big deal. if he’s not he could be well worth the 25th roster spot.

  • Al Vanacoro

    Good character guy who in the right role will thrive. Might not see the DL if the goal is 250 at bats.Better glove than A-Rod now and you might find yankee stadium suits him.The spotlight won’t be an issue, lots of playoff milage.That’s milage you want !!

  • Hihihi

    Reply to preston.. Chavez was (keyword was) one of the best defensive 3beggars to play the game. Had he stayed healthy he coulda be a hall of famer soley because of his defense.. Anyways.. My call.. Yankees one year.. 800k 2mil in incentives.. Give or take.. We will know in a few days.