The Oakland Athletics lost one of their own to the dark-side this week, as Eric Chavez signed a minor-league deal with the New York Yankees.
Most will point out that, Chavez, 33, has not been a productive player for some time now, but the A’s former Gold Glove winner will certainly be missed.
The A’s cut ties with the third-baseman when the team decided not to pick up Chavez’s option for the 2011 season. The A’s signed Chavez to a six-year deal worth $66 million in 2004, and got just two productive years out of Chavez in return.
Injuries derailed what could have been a very solid career. Last season, the A’s used Chavez as a DH as a way to limit the load on his shoulders and back, but Chavez still succumbed to an injury. This time, however, the injury was in the form of two bulging disks in his neck.
As a result, Chavez appeared in just 33 games in 2010, and hit just .234/.276/.333 with one homer and 10 RBIs.
2010 concluded Chavez’s career in Oakland, and in 13 years with the organization, the former six-time Gold Glover winner hit .267/.343/.478 with 230 home runs and 787 RBIs. From the years 2000-2005, Chavez averaged 30 home runs per season, but from 2006-2010, he averaged just 8.
Chavez has said he’s healthy this offseason, and he hopes to make the cut with the Yankees. He knows he’ll serve as a back-up to Alex Rodriguez at third, and Jorge Posada at DH, but he’s excited about this upcoming season.
While he’s not a member of the A’s organization any longer, I’d still like to wish Chavez the best, and I hope to see him out there on the field this season.