Eric Chavez Rumors

Yankees Notes: Granderson, Jeter, Chavez, Joba

By all accounts, it looks like the Yankees will be big players in free agency this winter, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes.  The Yankees may have at least a dozen players in mind, and Heyman adds the names of Scott Feldman and Bronson Arroyo to the long list of free agents who have already been linked to the Bombers.  One would suspect that Feldman and Arroyo would be backup plans should New York not be able to land a higher-profile starter like Masahiro Tanaka.  Here's the latest out of the Bronx…

  • The Yankees "obviously" want Curtis Granderson to reject the team's $14.1MM qualifying offer so they can pursue other free agent outfield options.  While Granderson says he's still considering accepting the one-year deal, he seems likely to find a solid multiyear offer on the open market, his injury-shortened 2013 season notwithstanding.
  • Hal Steinbrenner was the one who negotiated Derek Jeter's one-year, $12MM deal for 2014, Heyman reports.  Steinbrenner is "very involved" in the team's dealings this winter, according to a source.
  • The Yankees have discussed bringing back Eric Chavez, Dan Martin of the New York Post reports.  Chavez would provide needed bench depth, and he wouldn't require a big commitment since he only wants a one-year contract.  There does seem to be mutual interest between Chavez and the Diamondbacks for 2014, however.
  • Joba Chamberlain hasn't received any attention from the Yankees but over a dozen other clubs have checked in on the free agent reliever, WFAN's Sweeney Murti reports (Twitter link).  It has been widely reported that the Yankees will part ways with their former top prospect.
  • The 10-year contracts given to Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols when both men were in their 30's are reasons why the Yankees shouldn't make a decade-long commitment to 31-year-old Robinson Cano, MLB.com's Mike Bauman opines.

NL West Notes: Chavez, D-backs’ Closers, Lincecum

We just looked at the Diamondbacks' pending search for a power bat. Here are some more notes on the D-backs and their NL West rivals:

  • As noted in my earlier post, the team's second-best power source this year has come from third baseman Eric Chavez, who has done a nice job on a one-year, $3MM deal. As Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic reports, the 35-year-old is interested in returning, and only wants a one-year deal since he isn't sure how long he'll want to keep going. GM Kevin Towers says that "there's still probably a need" for Chavez next year, and that the team could utilize his left-handed bat in a platoon with rookie Matt Davidson.
  • Arizona also has some question marks at the back end of its bullpen, writes Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. The team owes $7MM to J.J. Putz and $6MM to Heath Bell (even after the Marlins pick up part of the tab) in 2014, but has used Brad Ziegler at closer of late. Ziegler earned $3.15MM this year, and should get a nice raise in his final year of arbitration after logging another 60+ inning, sub-3.00 ERA season while picking up double-digit saves. Though Arizona might wish to shed some of these obligations, only Ziegler seems like he would draw much interest.
  • If Giants starter Tim Lincecum reaches the open market, he could be in a better position than one might expect, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes on Sulia. While teams used to worry about how Lincecum would perform when he lost velocity, says a Schulman source, they now know and may feel more comfortable making a long-term commitment. We heard yesterday that the Giants have opened negotiations on an extension with one soon-to-be free agent, Hunter Pence, but have yet to do so with Lincecum.

Quick Hits: Trout, Happ, Chavez

The Angels' $510K renewal of Mike Trout's contract for 2013 has made minor news this week. Now FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that Trout's agent, Craig Landis, has suggested his client wanted a $1M contract for 2013. Since Trout is a pre-arbitration eligible player and does not have a long-term deal, the Angels were not obligated to pay him any more than the league minimum salary of $490K, despite Trout's exceptional 2012 performance. One source tells Rosenthal the Angels did not negotiate the deal at all. Another tells him that the Angels initially offered Trout a contract of more than $510K, but Trout did not accept it, and the Angels gave him the $510K contract as punishment. In any case, as Rosenthal suggests, the mini-controversy over Trout's 2013 salary will quickly vanish into history if the two sides can agree on a long-term deal. And, of course, salaries near the league minimum are routine for pre-arbitration eligible players, even spectacular ones. Here are more notes from around the majors.

  • The Blue Jays' offseason acquisitions of Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey have put the squeeze on several Jays pitchers, including J.A. Happ, who no longer has much of a shot at a rotation job. Nonetheless, Happ continues to prepare for the season as a starter, writes Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. "Right now I'm focused on being a starter, building up and doing what I've done in the past," says Happ. Happ could win a job in the bullpen, or he could wind up in the rotation at Triple-A Buffalo, even though he will earn $3.7MM this year.
  • Third baseman Eric Chavez, now with the Diamondbacks, says he needed to leave the Athletics organization behind after suffering numerous injuries in his last seasons there, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Chavez left the A's after the 2010 season, and signing a minor-league deal with the Yankees gave him a chance to "restart everything" by escaping from expectations established early in his career in Oakland. Chavez hit .281/.348/.496 in a successful 2012 campaign in New York, leading to a one-year, $3MM major-league deal with Arizona for 2013.


AL East Notes: Rays, Yankees

The Orioles' re-signing of left fielder Nate McLouth sums up the Winter Meetings Day 3 action coming out of the AL East.  The latest around the division:

  • The Rays pursued right fielder Nate Schierholtz to the end and finished a close second, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.  Schierholtz ultimately signed a one-year, $2.25MM deal with the Cubs.
  • "There's a few potential outcomes that are really exciting to us and we're going to work toward trying to make them materialize," Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times earlier today.
  • The Yankees never made offers to Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez, tweets Jack Curry of YES Network.
  • Scott Boras questioned the Yankees' choice to reduce payroll, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.  Responded president Randy Levine, "Scott’s a great agent, but he’s an agent.  Last I looked, he had zero experience running a professional sports team. I think the Yankees have done pretty well following our own course. My advice to Scott is stick to your day job representing players."

NL Rumors: Padres, Nats, Marlins, D-Backs, Mets

A few of the latest updates from Nashville relating to National League clubs:

  • The Padres figure to be seeking just one more starting pitcher, says MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter).
  • Although the Nationals' starting rotation is set, the team may still look to add pitching depth, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
  • Before Eric Chavez agreed to terms with the Diamondbacks, he had spoken to the White Sox, while Jeff Keppinger, who signed with the Sox, was coveted by the Marlins, says Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (Twitter links).
  • The signing of Chavez gives the D-Backs one too many infield bench options, and a team source says someone is likely to be traded, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter). Piecoro names John McDonald as the possible odd man out.
  • The Mets may leave Nashville having only finalized the David Wright extension, says Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. One Mets official tells Rubin that teams are asking for Zack Wheeler in virtually every trade proposal, even for platoon-type catchers, which isn't happening (Twitter links).

Diamondbacks To Sign Eric Chavez

The Diamondbacks strengthened their corner infield positions today, adding Eric Chavez on a one-year, $3MM deal.  He's represented by Lapa/Leventhal.

Uspw_6090148

Chavez, ranked 49th on MLBTR's Top 50 Free Agents list, excelled in his bench role last season, spelling both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira while seeing some time as the Yankees' designated hitter. Chavez, who turns 35 this week, posted a slash line of .281/.348/.496 with 16 home runs in 313 plate appearances.  He resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which was surely a factor in his decision.

The Red Sox and Yankees were among the other teams that had interest in Chavez.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports broke the story, and Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com had the dollar amount.  Photo courtesy of U.S. Presswire.


Red Sox Rumors: Chavez, Ellsbury

The Red Sox are interested in corner infielder Eric Chavez, reports WEEI's Alex Speier.  Chavez could add balance to Boston's lineup and fit GM Ben Cherington's stated need: a versatile, left-handed hitting first baseman.  But as Speier notes, Chavez could potentially find more playing time with the Yankees.

Elsewhere in the Red Sox rumor-verse, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe says the team is open to the idea of trading Jacoby Ellsbury, playing the newly-signed Shane Victorino in center field, and signing Cody Ross or another right fielder.  Rival executives believe the Red Sox are laying the groundwork for a trade of Ellsbury for pitching, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.


Latest On The Yankees

The Yankees have been eerily quiet so far at the 2013 Winter Meetings.  Still, here's the latest from GM Brian Cashman's media briefing.


Free Agent Rumors: Hannahan, Ibanez, Saito, Nakajima

We rounded up one set of free agent rumors earlier in the day, but as we approach late afternoon in Nashville, it's about time for a fresh batch….


Central Notes: Reds, Chicago, Brewers, Pirates, Twins

Here are the latest news and notes from the NL and AL Central divisions: