The New York Yankees are waiting to hear what happens in the Alex Rodriguez case but must go about their offseason business as if he weren’t going to be around. Because of that, GM Brian Cashman must look at potential replacements for Rodriguez for the 2014 season and the Yankees have seemingly been linked to every player who played a game at third or even rounded third on the base paths. Another name, one that is familiar to Yankees’ fans, can be added to the list, Eric Chavez.
Chavez played the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Yankees and appeared in 113 games for the Yankees in 2012, his highest total since 2006 and the only time since 2006 that he appeared in over 100 games in a season. Chavez was once considered one of the best players in baseball before injuries robbed him of a lot of his ability.
In his two seasons with the Yankees, Chavez hit .274/.338/.445 with 18 home runs, 16 of which came in 2012. He played above average defense but his injury history was always a concern and he even admitted he was no longer an everyday player and that wouldn’t change for 2014 and the Yankees would still need someone to play third when Chavez needs a rest.
Last season, Chavez appeared in 80 games with the Arizona Diamondbacks and hit .281/.332/.478 with nine home runs, 44 RBI and 28 runs scored. The offense is certainly nice, even if it is nowhere near what Chavez was capable of producing in his early years with the Oakland Athletics.
The Yankees need someone who can play at least 125 games at third and Chavez might not be capable of doing that these days. He will be 36-years-old in December and for as good as he is at third, he is not someone a team wants to roll out there four or five times a week because of his injury history.
There are better options at third base for the Yankees. It doesn’t hurt to check in on Chavez but he isn’t the answer to hold down the fort at third.