Eric Chavez intends to play in 2012

Open Thread: Cole Hamels
Yu Got the Right One, Baby, Uh Huh

Via Mark Feinsand and Pete Caldera, Eric Chavez‘s agent informed Brian Cashman that his client intends to play next season. Chavez was reportedly giving retirement serious consideration, but he also indicated a willingness to return to New York should he not hang up the spikes.

“I loved everything about him,” said Cashman, who also hedged his bets a bit by saying he wasn’t sure if there was a match between the two sides. The Yankees are going to need a caddy for Alex Rodriguez next season and it’d be nice to have a left-handed bat off the bench, two birds that could be killed with one Chavez stone. I don’t think there will be much a rush here though, I would be surprised if there’s a high demand for his services.

Open Thread: Cole Hamels
Yu Got the Right One, Baby, Uh Huh
  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    Would LOVE to have him back as well.

  • Mickey S

    It would be great to have him start every fifth day, keeping Alex fresh. EC can still flash the leather!

  • Monteroisdinero

    I’d have him back. Never thought I’d want a high risk injury guy as a backup for a high risk injury guy.

  • UYF1950

    Would much rather see Chavez man 3rd base defensively than Nunez. Nunez scares me every time there is a ball hit to him.

  • Jesse

    Give Laird a chance instead of Chavez who is made of glass.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      200 AB bench spots are no place for young guys like Laird. If he really does have potential as a corner outfielder, then he makes better trade bait. This position is perfect for a guy like Chavez.

      • Jesse

        “200 AB bench spots are no place for young guys like Laird.”

        The same applies for Nunez, right?

        And yeah a guy like Chavez with a long injury history is perfect for the job…

        • Mister Delaware

          Ignoring that Nunez played 112 games last year, great point.

          (Nunez is the first cover for all IF positions except for 1B. His being on the roster does not equate to Laird’s being on the roster.)

          • Jesse

            Doesn’t matter. Laird isn’t a starter in the bigs, and he shouldn’t still be in the minors. The bench is perfect for him. No need for a broken down third baseman as the backup.

            • Mister Delaware

              It matters a lot. 500 minor league PA > 200 sporadic major league PA.

              • Jesse

                He doesn’t need to be stuck in the minors. The guy is 24 and has been in the minors for 552 games. He’s ready.

    • Ted Nelson

      The great thing is that the Yankees can have both… And the injury risk of Chavez just makes it more likely that Laird gets to play

  • well you know

    He plays a good third base and is a nice guy so people think why not.

    Can’t play infield positions other than 3B.
    Can’t pinch-run.
    Can’t be shuttled to Scranton as team needs require.

    All these factors clog the roster and limit flexibility.

    And he can’t really hit anymore. 79 OPS+ is not a bat. He hasn’t cracked .700 OPS since 2007 and his power is non-existent. When he was given the DH job he couldn’t hold it. When he pinch hit in the postseason, it was a bad move and he struck out on the fastball down the middle he can’t get around on.

    2012 ZiPS projected OPS+

    Eric Chavez 64
    Ramiro Pena 63

    He is an exceptionally nice guy though.

    • Jesse

      He can play a little bit of first base.

      • well you know

        Thank you, I did forget that. But Swisher provides that element. And the big thing is not being able to play SS. That means always having to have two backup IFs and not being able to carry a fifth OF (if roster is constructed as last year.

        • radnom

          Their outfield is Swish/Granderson/Gardner – three young(ish), sturdy guys, two of which can play CF. Why do they need five outfielders? The way the roster is constructed, they are going to be carrying two backup IFs anyway.

          • well you know

            When Chavez got hurt, the Yanks called up Dickerson. They did go with five OFs. That had more value.

            If Jones also comes back in 2012, having both him and Chavez is very constricting because neither can pinch run. And it is dangerous to use Nunez to pinch run in that context because he is the only one who can play SS. And that’s your entire bench.

            I would accept Chavez’s inflexibility if he could really hit. But he can’t. Either carry a real bat for backup 3B or get a fielder who can be flexed.

  • E-ROC

    Drew Sutton or Jerry Hairston Jr seem like better candidates to serve as A-Rod’s caddy.

  • Brian S.

    He’s not a very good hitter so I wouldn’t. There are several more bench candidates that can hit better than he. Also, I’d like to see Laird maybe get a shot and show what he’s made of.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      Eric Chavez, Brandon Laird, Casey Blake, or Jerry Hariston Jr. would be my options.

      I prefer Hariston, he’s the best of the bunch, and the most versatile. And I loved him in ’09.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    I would keep Laird and sign Cody Ross as the right handed hitting outfielder. Ross reminds me of Chad Curtis who could hit a homer when you needed one and he has proven himself in the postseason. He is also adequate defensively.

  • thenamestsam

    The guy somehow made a good impression last year while not hitting a lick. I’d rather see Laird in that spot, especially if he can become passable at the corner OF spots.

  • Grover

    The balance of giving youngsters a shot versus aged vets is always an interesting question when filling out the bench and role players. With the age and set positions on this team both Cashman and Girardi will inevitably once again lean toward vets.

    This year might be different as they might prefer Nunez as a supersub who is the fifth outfielder as well as the first player to be called upon to back up Alex, Derek and Robbie. When Montero is catching and none of the regulars need a blow, I could see him as the right handed dh for his stick and speed. Clearly there would be a drop in power but the kid will be a starter somewhere down the road and I’d rather we give him a decent amount of playing time and live with the yips in the field which will probably decrease as a result. He is under team control for a few years and might take over for Alex or Derek when they can no longer pick it in the field.

    This open up a lefthanded spot for a strictly dh and pinch hitter along the lines of Damon or Matsui in case Montero is not the second coming as the full time dh. Cashman and Girardi know they cannot trust Montero’s short sample from last year and will not allow him to mire in any kind of extended slump if it occurs. Pena and Dickerson are adequate on the bench and I would prefer to keep Cervelli as Montero is yet unproven behind the plate and I also like him as a pinch hitter with runners in scoring position; preferably with two outs and two strikes.

    Eric Chavez was a great player before his back limited his power and wrecked his body. Though he could surprise to the upside, and his injuries were not back related this year, his lack of power and versatility should be enough of a reason to move on without him.