Eric Chavez, who as we all know was once kind of awesome, has brought himself back to baseball relevance after a series of very dark years toiling in the sport’s greasy underbelly. Grossest sentence ever. Anyway, Chavez has signed a one-year commitment with the Arizona Diamondbacks that will pay him $3 million. Now 35 years old, Chavez will venture to the National League after spending his first 15 seasons in the junior circuit.
Chavez became the object of some teams’ affection after hitting a nifty .281/.348/.496 with 16 homers in 313 PA for the Yankees last season. Thrust into more playing time than he probably expected, the former A’s star third baseman made the most of it and will get a chance to move himself further. It’s hard to know what to expect from Chavez except for this one thing: he can still decimate right-handed pitching. Chavez assaulted righties to the tune of a .298/.365/.543 line last season, and he hit all 16 of his home runs against them.
Given his proclivity for righty mashing and his ability to still play a passable third base even if he isn’t the defensive force he used to be, this signing makes some sense for an Arizona team that could hope to contend again in 2013. Well, I say that, but the Diamondbacks are involved in like every trade rumor ever and may wind up with a completely different roster than any of us expect by the time April rolls around. The signing is short and relatively inexpensive for a guy who will provide power off the bench, can start against most pitchers in the league, and can still handle the hot corner. He’s a nice complimentary player for a team hoping to win.