Yankees bringing Eric Chavez to camp

Via Sweeny Murti, the Yankees are bringing infielder Eric Chavez to camp as a non-roster invitee. If it makes you feel better, just call it a minor league contract, same difference. In case you missed it, they added Ronnie Belliard on a similar deal earlier tonight.

Chavez, of course, hasn’t been healthy in years, battling back, elbow, neck, and shoulder injuries. He was awesome back in the day, with double-digit UZR‘s at third and wOBA’s in the .380’s, but that was a long time ago. He’s a lefty bat and it’s a zero risk move, why the hell not. Hannah wrote more about him just last weekend.

Fun fact: Chavez has the fourth highest WAR (35.8) of any player never to appear in an All-Star Game.

Open Thread: Jon Lieber

(AP Photo/Ed Betz)

Given the current state of the Yankees rotation, I guess it’s only fitting that today is the eight year anniversary of the John Lieber signing, a move similar to the recent scrap heap signings of Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon. Just a season removed from 21 wins and a 4.23 FIP with the Cubs, Lieber was in the process of rehabbing from Tommy John surgery when the Yankees inked him to a two-year contract knowing he’d miss the entire 2003 season. He was worth the wait though, because Lieber provided 176.2 quality innings in 2004, pitching to a 3.71 FIP with just 16 unintentional walks (0.82 uIBB/9). He also gave the team some strong starts in the postseason before signing a big fat deal with the Phillies and eventually hurting his arm again. Every once in a while one of these reclamation guys will work out, hopefully one of them does in 2011.

Here’s tonight’s open thread. The Devils, Knicks, and Nets are all in action, but you should go out, it is Friday night.

Yankees sign Ronnie Belliard to minor league deal

Via Enrique Rojas, the Yankees have signed infielder Enrique Rojas Ronnie Belliard to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. He’ll earn $825,000 if he makes the team.

Mini-Manny suited up for the Dodgers last year, posting a .276 wOBA in 185 plate appearances. He’s a season removed from a .339 wOBA and two seasons removed from a .369 wOBA, so he can hit a little. He spent plenty of time at first, second, and third over the last few years with basically average UZR scores (±1), so he provides a little bit of versatility as well. Hey, minor league contract? Zero complaints here. Let Eduamiro Penunez earn its job.

Ex-Gov. Paterson forks over $62K World Series fine

So much for putting up a fight. After vowing to challenge the charge that he owed $62,125 in fines due to an ethics violating stemming from 2009 World Series tickets, former New York Gov. David Paterson has paid the fine, the Daily News reported today. Paterson, who could still face a criminal investigation for perjury, violated ethics regs by accepting five free tickets to Game 1 of the 2009 World Series, and the fine is the largest ever levied by New York’s Public Integrity Commission. “This closes the case,” Walter Ayres, the commission’s spokesperson, said. “We imposed a penalty, he paid it. There is nothing else to say.”

Yankees discussing left-handed starters, mostly mediocre ones

Via Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees have “kicked around” the idea of pursuing a left-handed starter in the wake of Andy Pettitte‘s retirement. On the supposed list of targets: Scott Kazmir, Joe Saunders, Wake LeBlanc, Clayton Richard, and Gio Gonzalez. My quick analysis is no, no, no, okay, and meh. Joe already looked at Kazmir, but a few of the other guys will be covered over the weekend.

You know who’s a half-decent left-handed starter? Jeff Francis. Too bad he signed with the Royals for half of what the Yankees are playing Pedro Feliciano in 2011. In fairness, Francis did say he chose Kansas City because of the opportunity they provide, but the back of New York’s rotation isn’t exactly tough to crack these days.

Report: Cano hires Scott Boras

Via Enrique Rojas, Robbie Cano has fired agent Bobby Barad and hired Scott Boras. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, he’s not coming up on free agency anytime soon. Cano will make $10M in 2011, then the team holds a $14M club option for 2012 ($2M buyout) and a $15M option for 2013 ($2M buyout). If he continues to play at the level he did last year, those options are no brainers.

Robbie makes three Boras clients on the infield, joining Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. Rafael Soriano and Andrew Brackman are also Boras clients, and the team has a great working relationship with the super-agent. It’s hard to blame Cano, I’d hire Boras if I was a player.

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