Chavez would “deeply consider” a return to the Yankees in 2012

Phelps rights the ship in Arizona
What Went Right: Ivan Nova

A few weeks ago we heard that Eric Chavez was “heavily leaning” towards retirement, but his agent Scott Leventhal told Jerry Crasnick today that no decision has been made yet, just that it will come “at some point” this winter. “He truly enjoyed playing for the Yankees,” said Leventhal. “If he decides to return next season, he would deeply consider a return to New York if there is a fit.”

Alex Rodriguez isn’t getting any younger, so the Yankees figure to add some kind of third base insurance this winter. Chavez did a fine job last season (when he wasn’t injured), and although I’m sure the Yankees would welcome him back, they can’t wait around forever for him to make up his mind. I’d like to see him back, but he’s not that important to the team’s success. Here’s the review of Chavez’s season I wrote just yesterday.

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Phelps rights the ship in Arizona
What Went Right: Ivan Nova
  • Brian S.

    Isn’t Brandon Laird supposedly good at defense? Why not give him a shot?

    • mbonzo

      I’m sure he’ll get a shot in spring training, but his bat doesn’t compare with Chavez’s.

      • Brian S.

        His bat doesn’t compare with Eric Chavez? The one with the .294 wOBA/79 wRC+? Laird couldn’t even manage that? He has hit 41 home runs the last two years combined you know…

        • mbonzo

          Considering he barely beat Chavez in wRC+ (88 wRC+ in AAA) in 2011, no I don’t think he could out-hit Chavez. Plus, Eric Chavez is a much smarter and knowledgeable hitter, something you want off the bench. If he stays healthy, he’s got the potential to show glimpses of his career 114 OPS+.

          • thenamestsam

            Didn’t we hear the exact same argument about how Montero barely outhit Posada in AAA right before he was called up? For one thing young players improve and old players get worse, so using last years stats is always going to sell Laird short. For another, if a young player is ready to take the next step there’s no guarantee that his production is going to decrease after promotion. Of course the majors is more difficult than AAA, but there are plenty of guys whose big league numbers are as good or better than their AAA numbers.

            I’m no great fan of Laird and I’d support bringing back Chavez to compete with him for a job next year, but I don’t think its a guarantee that Chavez will outplay him next year.

            • Ted Nelson

              Laird is not Montero. Laird is a fringe prospect who projects to be a bench player. Montero is a tremendous physical talent.

              • thenamestsam

                Obviously Laird is not Montero. See at the bottom there where it says “I’m no great fan of Laird”? That really has nothing to do with my point though. Laird projects as a bench player. We’re discussing him for a bench spot. All I said was that Laird’s AAA numbers don’t guarantee that Chavez would outperform him next year and I gave a couple of reasons. Do you disagree with the substance of my comment, or is this just a case of you disagreeing with things because that’s what you do?

                • Ted Nelson

                  I clearly disagree with your comment, or I wouldn’t have disagreed with it. I agree that they should bring in competition. I disagree with comparing Laird to Montero as evidence he’ll outproduce Chavez.

                  Montero has more skill, so he’s less susceptible to better competition.

                  Montero also has more margin for error. Laird projects as a bench player ***if he succeeds*** That means if he doesn’t succeed he’s a AAAA player. Montero projects as a stud if he succeeds. That means that there’s a lot of room below stud but above AAAA player if he fails.

        • Ted Nelson

          That’s one season for Chavez. Laird is definitely not a sure bet to hit MLB pitching.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      I bet Laird will be the front runner for the backup 3B job if Chavez retires, assuming the Yankees don’t sign or trade for a better option.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

      If Laird has starting potential, he’d be better trade bait than someone you’d try to develop getting 150 ABs a season.

  • Rich in NJ

    According to Cot’s, his base salary was $1.5m last season. If he is willing to sign for something close to that, it’s pretty much risk-free.

  • MannyB ace2be

    Absolutely agree and the veteran experience off the bench is priceless

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      You gotta love those veteran presents.

    • Rich in NJ

      I often prefer veterans off the bench and youngsters starting.

      #Montero

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Would love to have Chavez back. And if it’s for that $1.5 mil he got last year, I’ll pay for it myself. But not really.

  • Monteroisdinero

    I wouldn’t mind Chavez. No way ARod plays every game at 3rd and no way Nunez can be expected to be the only infield backup all season. I prefer Chavez to Laird. Experience off the bench is valuable. Not sure who is slower: Chavez or Laird.

    Just don’t resign Jorge-at any price.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      The Jorge comment is a bit strong. While I don’t advocate for a regular spot for Posada, there could be circimstances where he’d be of some value. We just may not see them right now.

      • Ted Nelson

        Monteroisdinero has a deep personal hatred for Jorge Posada.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          I’ve seen that before. However, now that Montero has an all-but-guaranteed roster spot on the big league team, there’s no reason not to acknowledge that there is a possibility (however slight you may feel it is) that Posada could contribute to the team, perhaps as a LH bat off the bench. Not sure he or the team wants to go there, but it is a possibility. Depends on the roster construction, which we don’t fully know yet at this point.

          • Ted Nelson

            I absolutely think Posada could contribute under the right circumstances.

            The reason not to acknowledge it is a deep-seeded personal hatred of Jorge Posada…

            • Monteroisdinero

              Thanks for the pyschoanalysis Ted. How much do you charge?

              Yes, let’s bring back Jorge of the core 4 for 1.5M with options-like Chavez would cost. I’m sure he’ll take it and play in 30 games.

              Jorge-thank you. You WERE a great Yankee and I love you for that. Retire and stop blocking the way for younger, cheaper, healthier and better players.

              • Ted Nelson

                Yes. If he’s the the best option (value) for a bench spot. Sign him. He can still hit RHP. Cut him if he struggles for half a season and replace him internally or through a trade.

    • Ted Nelson

      Nice thing is that they can have Chavez and Laird, if Chavez re-signs. If Chavez gets hurt or struggles, Laird steps in.

      • Billion$Bullpen

        Bingo. I want Chavez aka the clean shaven Don Mattingly look a like back. You can not usually buy his experience and quality for so cheap in the MLB these days.

  • mike

    while i like Chavez, he likely will not hit enough or be healthy enough to be the LH DH, even if his AB’s are restricted to tough righty batters to protect Montero

    Thus, he really is a dead spot on the bench since he can play 1+ position, cant run, no real power and is a helath risk himself.

    • CountryClub

      Except the odds of Arod getting hurt again are better than him not getting hurt. I’d rather have Chavez play third for an extended period of time while Nunez spells Jeter/Cano than having Nunez play 3rd with Pena spelling Jeter/Cano.

    • steve (different one)

      I agree that if he can’t stay healthy, there isn’t much use for him. But I disagree that there isn’t room for a healthy Chavez on the bench. He’d prob get about 30 starts at 3B, maybe a few more at DH and 1B. 150 ABs seems about right for a bench player.

      Chavez backs up the corners, Nunez backs us ss/2B. You’d have a RHed 4th OFer, and then one more spot to play with depending on how much you think Montero will catch. If Montero will catch 60 games and DH most of the rest, you have another free spot to play with. If he’s not going to catch, maybe they keep Cervelli? I doubt it, but what do I know.

      Either way, I think they could easily carry Chavez.

    • Monteroisdinero

      In limited action, Montero hit 2 HR’s off Jim Johnson, one off Weaver and one off another righty whose name I am too lazy to look up now.

      There are no tough righty pitchers we have to worry about.

      Pinch hitting for Montero is absurd.

      The only thing Montero has to worry about is that micro manager Binder. Burn it.

      • pat

        Tazawa. But he sucks so it doesn’t really count.

      • Ted Nelson

        Do you have any idea what is in the binder? You think he really just keeps a big page in there that reminds him LHH generally do better against RHP? It’s tough to criticize for having a thick binder of details and for sticking to the normal splits too much, yet somehow that’s the criticism Girardi takes.

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

    Would love to have him back next year. Still has the glove and knows what he’s doing at the plate. I’m in.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Unless Laird shows a lot in Spring Training, or the Yankees feel he’s ready to make the step up to the Majors and give him appropriate playing time (which could happen), I agree, I’d like to see Chavez come back.

  • YANKZ1FAN

    It would be foolish to resign Chavez. Why pay a million and a half dollars for someone who only had 2hr all year with a low average, and hurt half the time, when you can get a player for the minimum with insain power and will have the same average if not better. No I am not talking about Laird. He is not ready, and when he is, he will be an average ball plyaer at best. Jorge Vazquez is a perfect fit off the bench and mixing in at DH, 3B, and 1B. He can even split backup time at third with Nunez. Plus, he has plenty experience, and has always come up big in the pressure situation. He is a superstar in Mexico like Arod here. A 10yr AAA Mexican Lg vet where he signed when he was 16 yrs old. His first ab in the World Baseball Classic in ’09, 480ft Grand Slam, hitting behind AGon. Carr Series MVP earlier this year, with two game winning hr’s. One was over the fence, over the batters eye, and over three cars and a bus in the parking lot. Then first ST ab with the Yankees this year, a 500 ft HR over the batters eye against the Phillies. And for the spring, led the Yanks in hitting, .412, and OBP, and only second to ARod in Slg%. Why Laird? He looked like a deer in headlights in Sept. He will be the same next year. Look at Scranton. In the same amount of ab’s Laird had 16 less HR, 25 less rbi, 94 points less slg%, 26 less obp, and 120 less ops. By the way, he out-hit Montero the same way. He is very playable as a backup. At third and mostly first he had a .993% with 801 chances. Laird at first and mostly third had a .975% with 373 chances. Laird has more range, but Jorge has a better arm. He is mashing the ball in the Mex Pacific Lg this winter…AGAIN! in 13 games, .367avg, 6hr,, 18rbi, .436obp, .755slg and 1.191ops. A few years ago when Nelson Cruz played Winter ball, they always had the exact same numbers. And the MexPac this year is very good. About 80% of the players have had ML exp, and most of the others were AAA. This is about what he started out doing in Scranton this year, until he started getting upset because everyone else was being called up for his positions. He slumped and started striking out more than usual every time there was a callup and he was overlooked, between Chavez and Arod. And still he broke the franchize recond for home runs. He actually was signed on 08 right before Tex. Jorge was the backup plan if they didnt get Tex. AND, it was totally unfair not to call him up in Sept, and all those lesser players got a chance. If Chato has a very good spring, he should definately get that corner inf spot. You cant ignore him any more, he has earned it. I really dont understand. It really is a no-brainer!!

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Your Jorge Vazquez love out-shines Monteroisdinero’s love of Montero, despite the reasons that are continually pointed out to you as to why he most likely wouldn’t perform well at the MLB level.

      • Monteroisdinero

        Don’t offend Mrs. Vasquez. My son Jesus would be very mad at you.

        Sincerely,
        Jesus’s dad.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          On the plus side, he does allow the team to keep a “Jorge” on the roster. Hip Hip … :-)

      • YANKZ1FAN

        Cris, what reasons are continually pointed out to me that he cant hit ML hitting? Lets see his history of hitting against ML pitching….. This year, Chapman 1-2, rbi single off the wall that looked like it was going through it, Cy Young Jake Peavy a three run BOMB off of the scoreboard, Vance Worley two HRs in one game, Volquez 2-3 with 2rbi double. Hit a 9th inning 3run game winning bomb out of the stadium against Kimbrel last year!! In Trenton hit a monster shot on to the highway against Arrieta. In Spring this year a bomb over the batters eye off of ML exp pitcher Shlitter, a moon shot off of Lidge, a 450ft HR off of Nationals starter Lannan. I THINK HE CAN HIT!!! All I am saying is give him a chance and let him show if he can hit or not(which he will). No one knows until he gets his shot. You and the Yankees can GUESS all you want. Prove he cant hit ML pitching, which he has been hitting against since he was 16 years old. Peace V

    • Monteroisdinero

      Just on the basis of this post I say, bring on Jorge!

      Seriously, I was at a ST batting practice and was very impressed with Vasquez’s bat control as he seemed to place the ball wherever he wanted with amazing consistency to all fields.

  • AC

    Chavez even admits he’s a role player at this point in his career. You might burn him out making him the DH when Montero sits. Def off bench and a lefty bat. He fits our needs.

  • BK2ATL

    While Chavez’ glove and veteran at-bats are great, his injury-prone body (that made him miss 71 games this year) is not worth it again. I will say Jorge Vasquez or Brandon Laird deserve a real shot as a backup.

    I mean, you give Ivan Nova a shot, he pleasantly surprises. You finally give Jesus Montero a shot, he lives up to the billing. Noesi, pretty good so far. Nunez, sucks in the field, but competent at-bat. One day, we’ll start giving our kids 1st dibs rather than rolling out decrepit ancients from glory days past.

    I’d be okay with Andruw Jones coming back as the 4th OF. But Chavez, nope, let him retire.