Eric Chavez Rumors
The Orioles are searching for a new GM and the four other AL East teams have begun preparations for the coming offseason. The latest links from the division:
- The Blue Jays won't rule out a run at David Ortiz, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Ortiz told Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com that the Red Sox won't regret it if they sign him.
- Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe wonders if the Red Sox would offer some combination of Kevin Youkilis, Josh Reddick, Lars Anderson and Jed Lowrie in a trade for starting pitching.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com explains why the Red Sox are likely to exercise their $6MM option for Marco Scutaro.
- Scott Leventhal, the agent for Eric Chavez, told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that the third baseman hasn't decided whether to play in 2012 (all Twitter links). Leventhal says Chavez "truly enjoyed" playing for the Yankees and would consider returning to New York. He'd likely be a fit for the Bronx Bombers again.
- Bill Chastain of MLB.com suggests the Rays would like Kelly Shoppach to return in 2012. However, his $3.2MM option ($300K buyout) may seem expensive for a club that operates with limited resources and has cheaper internal options available.
Veteran third baseman Eric Chavez is considering retirement, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Chavez, 33, is "leaning heavily towards" hanging up his cleats after 14 Major League seasons.
Chavez considered retirement in 2010 following three injury-plagued years and multiple surgeries on his back and shoulder, but signed a minor league deal with the Yankees in the offseason and ended up as a valuable bench piece for the AL East champions. Chavez hit .263/.320/.356 in 175 plate appearances, all but 23 of which were against right-handed pitching. He also made 33 starts at third base filling in for the injured Alex Rodriguez and showed some of the form (a +9.5 UZR/150) that earned him six straight Gold Gloves for the A's between 2001-06.
Should this be the end for Chavez, he will retire with a career line of .267/.342/.474, 232 home runs and career earnings of approximately $75.63MM.
Hurricane Irene washed out Saturday's contests for both New York clubs, and today's Braves/Mets game has been postponed as well. Weather permitting though, the Yankees and Orioles will play two, with Bartolo Colon and Ivan Nova looking to help the Yanks make up ground on the Red Sox in the AL East. Before they get underway, let's check out the latest from Queens and the Bronx....
- Eric Chavez explains to the Star-Ledger's Jeff Bradley why coming to New York actually helped relieve the pressure he'd felt in Oakland.
- When the Mets negotiate with Jose Reyes this offseason, part of the conversation will revolve around playing time, days off, and medical history, writes Dan Martin of the New York Post.
- Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News discusses Brian Cashman's starting rotation hits and misses over the years, while Mark Feinsand of the Daily News notes that the Yankees GM didn't exactly rush to A.J. Burnett's defense this weekend.
The Mets have placed Jose Reyes on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain after examining the results of an MRI, the team announced. This break in Reyes' season won't be filled by contract talks, however, as Newsday's David Lennon tweets that Reyes and his agents still plan to wait until after the season to begin negotiations. Reyes' latest health issue isn't helping his reputation as an injury-prone player; as one unnamed Mets player tells Lennon (Twitter link), Reyes "is probably losing $100K a day on the DL," in regards to his next contract.
Here's the latest on the Mets and Yankees...
- Right-hander Cory Wade has been the Yankees' "secret weapon" since joining the club on a minor league deal in June, writes Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog.
- Another low-profile Yankee acquisition, Eric Chavez, has also paid off for the Bombers, writes MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
- Rival executives say the Yankees lead the league in waiver claims, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- As ESPN.com’s Buster Olney points out (on Twitter), the Yankees could use a second left-hander out of the bullpen in October. It won’t be surprising if they consider Arthur Rhodes, who will officially hit free agency later this week.
- Jorge Posada will have to choose between a bench role and asking for his release, according to Olney, who says the Yankees won’t cut him (Twitter link).
- The Mets intend to tender Mike Pelfrey a contract this winter, according to Newsday’s David Lennon. The right-hander earns $3.925MM now and could earn over $6MM in 2012.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post
A few notes on veterans with opt-out clauses from around the league...
- Non-roster invitee Miguel Batista has earned a spot on the Cardinals roster, writes B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com. The 40-year-old Batista could have opted out of his contract on Monday had the Cards not informed him that he would make the club.
- The Mets have not asked Jason Isringhausen if he would accept a minor league assignment, because he has already said in the past that he won't, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
- Dave Bush will use his opt-out tomorrow if he doesn't make the Rangers, writes Richard Durrett of ESPN.com. Bush says that he's not sure which way the club is leaning but wants to stay in Texas.
- Russell Branyan could have opted out of his contract with the Diamondbacks yesterday, but he was instead informed that he has made the club according to Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. Brandon Allen is likely to go to Triple-A while the out-of-options Juan Miranda stays with the team.
- George A. King III of The New York Post reports that Eric Chavez can ask the Yankees for his release today if he doesn't make the team. "They haven't let me know anything," said Chavez, but his strong showing in camp (.421/.450/.605 in 40 PA) likely won him a bench job.
- Isringhausen told Mike Puma of The New York Post that he will not accept a minor league assignment if he does not make the Mets out of Spring Training. There's a possibility Izzy would go to Extended Spring Training if his swollen elbow isn't fully healed though.
As we cruise through Spring Training and gear up for Opening Day, let's take a look at some news on some notable non-roster invitees around the league...
- Whether or not Yankees manager Joe Girardi wants to acknowledge it, there's "no way" Eric Chavez doesn't make the team out of camp, tweets ESPN's Wallace Matthews.
- Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told MLB.com's Bill Ladson there's a "good chance" that Matt Stairs breaks camp with the team.
- MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch writes that Garrett Atkins is hoping to re-kindle his career with the Pirates, but to this point has done nothing to distinguish himself from his competition (Steve Pearce, Andy Marte, and Josh Fields). Atkins was just 4-30 this spring entering play today.
Links for Saturday..
- Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun called the Orioles' signing of pitcher Justin Duchscherer the latest "late-winter Hail Mary" by GM Andy MacPhail.
- C.C. Sabathia told Mark Hale of the New York Post that he isn't concerned about the Yankees' rotation.
- Carlos Marmol took his physical in Mesa, Arizona today, tweets Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. Marmol and the Cubs should finalize a long-term deal this week.
- The Nationals still have loose ends to tie up from the Esmailyn Gonzalez scandal, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- Tom Singer of MLB.com will be keeping a close eye on Jonathan Broxton of the Dodgers as he looks to get his career back on track this season. Recently our own Mike Axisa characterized 2011 as a make or break year for the closer as he approaches free agency.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Cardinals and outfielder Jim Edmonds have not yet scheduled the physical that he needs to pass in order to finalize his minor league deal with the club. GM John Mozeliak confirmed that the agreement is open-ended in order to allow Edmonds time to recover from foot surgery before taking the physical.
- After signing a one-year, $4MM this winter, Aaron Harang is looking to return to old form with the Padres, writes Don Norcross of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Meanwhile, Eric Chavez is looking for a fresh start with the Yankees, writes Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News.
The Yankees have signed Eric Chavez to a minor league deal, according to WFAN's Sweeny Murti. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports that the deal is done and that Chavez will earn $1.5MM if he makes the big league team (Twitter links). The third baseman, who is represented by Lapa/Leventhal, can earn up to $4MM more in bonuses.
Until now, the 33-year-old Chavez has been a career Oakland Athletic. Unfortunately for the veteran, he has struggled to stay healthy in recent years, seeing time in just 64 games across the last three seasons. In 13 big league seasons, Chavez owns a slash line of .267/.343/.478.
Chavez worked out for the Dodgers a few weeks ago and has also been linked to the Mariners and Blue Jays in recent months.
Nine years ago today, MLB announced it had withdrawn its plan to contract the Twins and Expos due to legal issues and major opposition from the players' union. Minnesota has won six division titles and moved into Target Field since then, and they now boast a $100MM+ payroll. The Expos have since relocated to Washington and moved into Nationals Park, and this winter they handed out their first $100MM+ contract.
Here's some links for Saturday...
- Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports (on Twitter) that Vladimir Guerrero is scheduled to take his physical with the Orioles this upcoming Friday in Baltimore.
- Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio spoke to Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel about letting talent dictate the team's payroll as opposed to spending for the sake of spending.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman wasn't terribly interested in the starters that were left on the open market after Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies, writes Chad Jennings of The LoHud Yankees Blog.
- In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney says there does not to appear to have been much progress in talks about a long-term contract extension between the Cardinals and Albert Pujols. The Spring Training deadline is about two weeks away.
- Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun says the Guerrero signing has created some questions, such as what the Orioles' Opening Day payroll will be.
- Minor league contract signees Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard will compete with four homegrown players for two spots on the Yankees' bench according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but he notes that Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez have an advantage because they can play shortstop.
- Pettitte isn't planning on a comeback but he won't completely rule out another go-round after a year off, tweets Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger.
- For Pettitte retiring was a tough decision, but ultimately the right one, says Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter).
- The Yankees have shown patience as of late but Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated wonders if Pettitte's retirement will make the club antsy. Their newfound restraint has them 0-for-2 on Heyman's scoreboard when considering their miss on Cliff Lee.
- GM Brian Cashman insists that patience is still the name of the game, writes Carig.
- Bernie Williams is one Yankee who is ready to shut the door on his playing days for good, writes MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. The 42-year-old centerfielder plans to make his retirement official at some point in 2011. Williams hit .297/.381/.477 in 16 big league seasons for the Bombers.
- Eric Chavez told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter) that if he makes the Yankees' major league roster, he knows he'll be playing in support of two phenomenal corner infielders. Slusser tweets that it It sounds as though the Yankees made best offer of the teams that showed interest in the veteran. The Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Mariners were among the other clubs known to be in talks with Chavez.