New York Yankees Wasting Time and Money On Eric Chavez

The New York Yankees’ deal with backup third baseman Eric Chavez should not come as a surprise (although the fact that it is a guaranteed Major League deal did draw a groan from me). Eric Chavez has been in the mix for a New York Yankees bench spot for much of the offseason and the trade that sent A.J. Burnett to the Pittsburgh Pirates made Chavez’s return even more likely.  I have absolutely zero excitement about this acquisition and I have already shifted it into the pile of New York Yankees moves that I am feeling very “meh” about.

In fairness to Chavez and the Yankees, I’m not sure there is/was anyone out there THAT much better.  Even though Chavez’s bat is stuck in 2007, he can still pick it like a crusty booger at the hot corner.  How much good does that do you when he’s going to be on the disabled list by May 23rd?  I’d rather see the Yankees give Bill Hall and Russell Branyan a better shot to make the club out of Spring Training.  Neither one is going to flash the same quality of leather of Chavez, but at the same time neither one is going to hit worse nor spend the same amount of time on the disabled list.  The latter is barring a freak injury like a pitch to the face or something.  Chavez literally breaks bones running the bases.  He almost makes Nick Johnson look like semi-durable.

I said it last week, but I’ll say it again: this just isn’t my offseason as a New York Yankees fan.  I mean, I can’t knock the Michael Pineda acquisition, but if I had my way Jesus Montero would still be in the Bronx.  At the very least, they would have properly addressed the hole in the offense that they created.  Who knows, maybe next offseason will bring better results.  Until then, enjoy Eric Chavez’s 87 at-bats on the season.  On the bright side, at least the New York Yankees will only have to pay him $900,000.

For more armchair general managing of the New York Yankees follow me on twitter @craigmwilliams.

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  • Pastafagioli

    The guaranteed $900,000 is chump change to the Yanks if Chavez doesn’t cut it. That being said, Chavez is far superior to Branyan as a hitter (yes, Russell will hit the upper deck a few times, but strictly one dimensional,) and Hall is hardly a lock to outdo Chavez, although he quite possibly could, in which case they pay Eric off and go about business. I personally think Chavez’ bat will heat up this year, probably not to the pre-2007 numbers, but better than last year. When you pair that with his defense and clubhouse presence, I think it will work out.

    • craigwilliams

      That is the good thing about the $900,000 price tag. The Yanks can cut ties if things come to that. I do have to say that Russell Branyan’s one dimension is one more than Chavez offers though. Of course, I have to recognize that Branyan’s numbers – like Chavez’s – have been trending downward (what else do you expect when you try to fill the DH spot with slop?). There is also the issue of injury for Chavez. I think I said May 23rd for his first extended trip to the DL. Even if his bat does pick up, it’s not going to do the Yanks much good while he’s recovering from whatever bogus injury he falls to in 2012.