After another shortened season, veteran 3B Eric Chavez may finally decide to call it quits. Chavez, 33, played for the New York Yankees this season after spending his first 13 seasons with the Oakland A’s. In 58 games this season with New York, Chavez, in a limited role, hit .263/.320/.356 with two home runs and 26 RBIs.
Despite changing venues for the first time in his career, Chavez suffered through yet another injury-plagued season. This time, however, it wasn’t his shoulder or his back that was bothering him, it was a broken bone in his left foot. Yes, a broken bone in his foot. Either the dude has some really bad luck, or his body is just really fragile.
The A’s cut ties with the six-time Gold Glove winner after the 2010 season. The team declined to pick up his $12.5 million option for 2011. He was rumored to have worked out for various clubs around baseball including the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees, however, captured Chavez’s interest.
Chavez played exceptionally well during spring training, hitting .395/.422/.558 with a home run and four RBIs. He carried his hot spring hitting into the regular season, hitting .300/.417/.367 with five RBIs in 30 April at-bats. He injured his left foot on May 5 against Detroit and did not play again until July 26 against the Mariners. He hit a respectable .277/.319/.385 with one home run and 10 RBIs during August.
He finished the season, however, with a rather lackluster .229/.269/.313 slash line in 48 September at-bats. He also went hitless in his one at-bat during the postseason during New York’s series against the Detroit Tigers.
Chavez’s overall slash line of .263/.320/.356 this season is a major improvement over his 2010 numbers of .234/.276/.333 with one home run and 10 RBIs in 33 games. After another season in which he battled through injuries, I’m thinking Chavez will finally retire this season.
Many people criticize the A’s all the time over Chavez’s six-year, $66 million contract extension back in ’04, but what most people fail to realize is just how hard the guy worked. He always gets criticized for never producing on the field after signing that contract, but I don’t see how you could blame the guy. He ran into an incredibly long stretch of bad luck in regards to his health, and as a result, his performance was deeply affected.
He never stopped fighting, though. Chavez seemed to battle back every year. Chavez put together a decent season, if you compare it to the last three or so years of his Oakland contract, and he’s had a pretty respectable major league career as well. Should he retire, the former A’s infielder will finish with a .267/.342/.474 slash line with 232 HR and 813 RBIs.
If only he stayed healthy. I’m sure those numbers would be a lot better had he stayed healthy during his career.
He was one of my favorite players growing up, and he’ll always remain one of my favorite players. How about you? Should Chavez retire? What’s your favorite Chavez memory? Sound off below!