Yankees Sign Eric Chavez

Via Sweeny Murti of WFAN:

Yanks bringing in veterans Ronnie Belliard and Eric Chavez as non-roster invites. No cost moves. Backup IF help a must, worth a shot.

Chavez, 33, was once one of the better hitters and defenders in all of baseball, but those days are long behind him. Now he barely stays healthy, can’t hit, and hasn’t played even 20 games in the field since 2007.

Since 2007, Chavez has played 154 games with a .233 batting average and a .689 OPS.

Again the Yankees have signed an over-the-hill veteran to compete for a bench roll when the much younger Willy Aybar is available and would do the job just fine.

There doesn’t seem to be much room on the roster for both Belliard and Chavez so they will likely be competition for a job. This almost definitely means that Ramiro Pena is done with the Yankees as Eduardo Nunez will likely be the shortstop and second base backup and Chavez or Belliard will play third and first base.

One positive way to look at this is that the Yankees have signed so good players whose value dropped because of injuries that at least one or two of them have to have big seasons. I wonder who it is going to be.

What do you think? Could either Belliard or Chavez have a big year in 2011 and make Cashman look smart? Or is this a waste of time?

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43 Responses to Yankees Sign Eric Chavez

  1. Arthur says:

    Love this in a way. We know Arod will play alot of third and chavez is a left handed hitter in Yankee Stadium. Maybe play 15, or 20 games at third. Six GG's cant be forgotten. If Pena could hit he would be a better option.

  2. Arthur says:

    Also Keppinger could've been a good pick up still. Send Pena and a Prospect.

  3. Keppinger got hurt. I’m not sure how long he’ll be out for, but he won’t start the season.

  4. Matt says:

    Every signing can be summed up by "This will work out *if* . . ." A lot of ifs going into this season

  5. You're right Matt. Fortunately not all of the ifs have to work out. The Yankees need a few of them to though.

    • loonidood says:

      It seems like the Yanks are throwing a lot of……stuff…..at the wall, and they’ll see what sticks.

  6. The Captain says:

    I don’t see the value in these moves when Willy Aybar is still available.

    But hey, at least the DL won’t be empty if Chavez makes the team.

  7. Susan says:

    I have to disagree with you on that Rob. If ARod is indeed a hustler, it doesn't come off that way to me. Especially on defense where I continue to see him make half hearted attempts at ground balls hit to either side. He'd make a great Tide spokesman with that squeaky clean uni.

    Tono73,

    Overall I do not like what I'm seeing. I was in no way in favor of extending Jeter for anything more than a year or two and with the exception of the Soriano signing, I think it's been the most horrific and down right humiliating offseason I can ever remember as a Yankee fan. Mark Prior, Bartolo Colon, Eric Chavez, Freddy Garcia, and so on. There's a reason these guys were available, nobody would want them. Nobody except Clueless Cashman that is. As I said, the only logical explanation is he wants to work elsewhere and I truly hope we accommodate him in the near future. As for his replacement, I don't know and it's not my job to figure it out. But this goober has worn out his welcome.

    Having said all that, I still believe we stand a chance to actually win the East if AJ pitches well and if CC and Phil Hughes stay healthy. Not many teams can boast of more than three quality starters anyway, and I stand by my statement that Boston's rotation is trash and their bullpen is loaded with gas cans. As crazy as it sounds, I still think Tampa will be in the mix. But if we fail to make the playoffs, Cashman is likely gone and should be anyway for these bone head signings. And yes, I know they are "low risk" signings but still stupid. Don't be shocked if we look into the possibility of Pedro in pinstripes.

    • Wow. I don’t even know what to say.

      • metaphorical says:

        I can't imagine what to say either, Rob. Lacking any real data, Susan has to resort to clever little statements about laundry as if that's going to convince us. Again, she's just a hater which means she can just be ignored.

        • Susan says:

          Yes, I am a hater. Of people like you.

        • David K. says:

          A-Rod is a poor defensive third baseman. You’d have to be blind not to see that. He has terrible reaction time to hard hit balls. He cannot dive quickly to either side. He is even worse diving towards the line. He is very slow coming in to field slow hit swinging bunts. His only plus is a strong arm. He did win us the 2009 WS almost single handedly. That was after numerous colossal playoff failures, though.

  8. Tono73 says:

    i have to hand it to cashman..he is building one hell-of-a “senior citizen”team.he’s going to have more player’s on “disability”than the “unemployment office”…

    • Susan says:

      So true. My thought is that Cashman for whatever reasons wants to get fired. The sad part about the Chavez signing is as disabled as he’s been, he’s probably still Greg Nettles defensively compared to our current half effort 3b. :roll:

      • Tono73 says:

        susan,if that's what he's looking for,he has built himself one hell-of-a-lead!!i don't believe we are going to see anything that will make our eye's open & say,wow cashman finally woke-up!!do you like the way the team is looking?????

      • I never realized that anybody questioned A-Rod's effort. Realistically he probably hustles as much as anybody else in all of baseball.

        • metaphorical says:

          Hey, Rob, Susan is obviously a hater and even a World Series championship (mostly A-Rod’s doing) couldn’t satisfy her. The six walk-off HRs, the two post-season late-inning game-tying HRs (both, more than any other current Yankee) and, of course, the ML-record 13 consecutive seasons of 30 HRs and 100 RBIs are all “half effort”.

  9. Franco Kotos says:

    interesting signing. I would love to have Eric Chavez of old but wouldn't bet on it. He's a very good defensive replacement and who knows, maybe he can help.

  10. Mindkind says:

    Wow why do people continue to thrash Cashman? What is it that he should do? There's no "Force Trade" button in real life. A team needs a bench. Spring training is to get ready and give players chances to make the team. What has Cashman done this off season that would lead anyone to believe he wants to get fired? What?? A-Rod doesn't hustle? People in baseball rave about his work ethic and hustle. Boston has one of the deepest starting rotations in the GAME! Sure if some players get hurt or under perform of course the rotation will suffer, but one can say the same thing about all rotations. Their bullpen consist of:

    Papelbon 3.90 ERA 76 K's 67.0 IP

    Bard 1.93 ERA 76 K's 74.2 IP

    Jenks 4.44 ERA 61 K's 52.2 IP

    Wheeler 3.35 ERA 46 K's 48.1 IP

    Okajima 4.50 ERA 33 K's 46.0 IP

    That's a deep, strong bullpen.

    For those people that bash Cashman, study the situation, ask what could have been done differently. Cashman doesn't want to get fired, not all years he will sign the best FA's because sometimes the best FA's just don't want to sign with the Yankees, it happens.

    • Tono73 says:

      Pavano is out of the question.you see P's tooooo young!!! wait 4/5more yrs.yankees will go full force & will stop at nothing to get him…

    • Strong points. I really don’t know what other options were out there that Cashman could have taken. After Cliff Lee there was nothing. Would Carl Pavano really have made people happy? Because he was the next best pitcher on the market.

      • Mindkind says:

        Thank You Rob. Yeah Pavano was the next best pitcher now imagine what anti-Cashman people would’ve said had he signed Carl? Cashman looked into Carl Pavano because that is what GM’s do. They explore all options.

  11. David K. says:

    If there is no one out there right now, let the youngsters play for now. Then make a move before the trade deadline to take a shot at the playoffs. He ignores the number one rule of being a general manager of a playoff caliber team: don't bother making moves that won't significantly improve your team.

    • Mindkind says:

      Not only the top FA’s improves a team. They need role players also. That’s what the Chavez type deals have been about. Unless you can see into the future, how would you know that one of these signings would improve the club? By taking a chance and signing them! That’s what Cashman did.

    • Tono73 says:

      wow,there is somebody out there that make’s sense.David K.well said..if cashman can’t make a trade that make’s sense,hell-o don’t make it..now Mindkind say’s,”they need role player’s”.let me say this,”this is not an”Audition”for a play!!!…

      • Would you rather go into spring training with just Ramiro Pena as the only option for utility infielder? Or would you rather go into ST with Pena, Belliard, and Chavez? It's very likely that Chavez will get hurt and Belliard will suck, but they are non-guaranteed contracts. If they suck or get hurt it's not problem whatsoever.

        It's just extra competition for a job. Worst case scenario, the Yankees go with Pena anyway and the other two are never heard from again. Still not a bad attempt to improve the bench.

  12. David K. says:

    By the way, Susan, I agree with you that A-Rod is a statue at third. I'm not sure it's lack of hustle, though. It could be his hip that has made him less flexible. He simply can't dive to either side without taking an extra second. He is also terrible at coming in and fielding swinging bunts; he can't reach them in time.

    • Tono73 says:

      A-ROD,WELL WHAT’S TO SAY ABOUT Pretty-“Boy”!!did you see where Carmen Diaz had to feed him pop-corn.he looks to me,(1)that his hip is still bothering him,&or(2)he just does’nt want to get dirty anymore!!!for the “yankees”to do anything this season,they need “A-ROD”to step up “BIG TIME”..

    • I'm not saying that A-Rod is the best third baseman. But saying he doesn't hustle is like saying Albert Pujols doesn't hit. I've never seen A-Rod dog even a single play.

  13. What moves should Brian Cashman have made this offseason if you don't like these so much?

    Pretty much every signing you guys are bitching about is a non-guaranteed signing as well. Which means, if the rookies are more impressive in spring training, then they'll just cut Colon or Garcia or whomever and let the rookie pitch. But somebody HAS to pitch. The reason you make these moves that don't significantly improve the team is so the good pitchers that they do have don't get burnt out.

  14. David K. says:

    This is water under the bridge now but what about Cashman being so opposed to the Rafael Soriano signing. I happen to like that signing, but him screeching about it during the press conference with Soriano there! Then bringing in a boatload of garbage, and there is no end in sight with the Millwood rumors, etc. The whole post season has been surreal. How about letting the youngsters play and waiting til near the trade deadline to see what's available?

  15. Franco Kotos says:

    Bronx baseball daily has not been represented lately on the Yankee team page (fox sports). Not sure about the past 2 days. Any reason for that?

  16. David K. says:

    People bash cashman because he continues to make worthless stupid moves that should never be considered by any decent GM. Bringing in all of these has-beens is a mistake. You say “if one of them makes it, Cashman will look smart”, but a boatload of these guys just takes playing time away from the younger players. I think only Freddy Garcia might be a decent signing. The rest is just garbage. Bringing in Chavez especially is just a hideously stupid move. He has been completely useless for years. There’s a reason no one wanted him. There’s no one out there who’s a valuable free agent, so Cashman now throws money at worthless free agents. He doesn’t want to bring in a top closer who is willing to be a set up guy, but he’ll bring in ten guys from the nursing home. What a GM we have.

    • Mindkind says:

      No signings are sure things, so why not take fliers on players that have shown talent? Cashman didn’t sign Chavez to take over for Arod, he brought him in giving him a chance to compete and win a job. A healthy Chavez gives you more than Ramiro Peña. The youngsters will still get their innings, that’s the managers job. The GM gives the manager players and the manager finds ways to get the deserving ones some playing time. Who put together the team that won the ’09 championship David?

  17. Mindkind says:

    Soriano makes the team better now but what about those opt-out clauses? Ask for a Steinbrenner head to roll for that one. You say let the youngster play? Well Cashman has Joba in the pen, wouldn’t Soriano block him at Closer? Again Millwood gives you more arms because you can never have enough arms. And Cashman hasn’t traded away the trade chips. When was the last time that Brian Cashman didn’t make a move on the trading deadline?

  18. David K. says:

    I think the Yankees will actually be happy if Soriano has such a great year that he opts out and extracts a giant contract from some other team. The same thing is in the C.C. Sabathia contract. If Soriano leaves after a year, you can always get someone else as a F.A. Relievers are not irreplaceable. Joba has blown his chance at becoming the closer, I don’t see him being closer material. He hasn’t been the same since he got hurt in Texas. He went from throwing mid to high 90s to throwing 88-92. And we DO NOT NEED MILLWOOD. He will make us worse.

    • Mindkind says:

      I understand Soriano, but why would the Yankees be happy if CC opts out? Money not considered. Who will be the Ace? Joba is 25 years old he hasn’t blown anything yet, he is just having a bad stretch. I think he was showing improved velocity towards the end of the year. I think that shoulder is getting stronger and Joba will be really good again. That’s just an opinion though. Millwood had the potential to be at least a decent innings eater again at a low, why is it so wrong to get him?

      • Tono73 says:

        Mindkind,i have to say that i agree with u on the “Joba”part..i really believe that the yankees “ruined”Joba”& now if the right trade come’s along,by Joba!!then the yankees will have gotten the worse of the deal..condition this kid to become a starter.he’s still a young kid..

        • Mindkind says:

          I don’t think the Yankees ruined Joba. That’s just the thing to say nowadays. Joba is 25 years old with decent numbers and still a really good arm. The shoulder is getting better and I for one would like to see him compete for a rotation spot. And like Rob said signing chavez, Belliard ect is just for OPTIONS. Doesn’t hurt to have guys compete.

  19. Tono73 says:

    Ruined in the sense that by xperimenting with him as a(starter/reliever)messed with his head..joba was to young at the time to be jerking him around..i think joba can still be effective if the yankees would only make-there mind’s up once & for-all(starter & or reliever)??

  20. tron says:

    we should just stick with ramerio pena