Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports
One thing will always remain the same for me: Eric Chavez will always be one of my all-time favorite A’s players. Chavez, 35, played for the A’s from 1998-2010 and won six consecutive Gold Glove awards from 2001-2006 for his remarkable work at third-base.
After signing a six-year extension worth $66 million in 2004, however, Chavez’s playing days in Oakland were plagued by various injuries. He performed well in 2005, but starting in 2006 Chavy’s production began to take a hit due to various injuries to his back, shoulders, and neck.
While it was tough to watch Chavez tread the line of mediocrity during his final years with the A’s, he remained a class-act with the organization and always maintained a team-first mentality. He put his body on the line for the A’s multiple times throughout his career and he definitely earned the support of many fans in Oakland.
He left the A’s after the 2010 season and signed with the Yankees. His two-year stint in the Bronx marked a slight rebound for the former slugger and it was nice to see Chavez play in the majors despite his questionable health.
Last year, Chavez appeared in a whopping 113 games, a significant number since he appeared in just 33 games during his farewell season in Oakland. He hit .281/.348/.496 with 16 HR and 37 RBI in a limited role with the Yankees. The numbers may not be spectacular, but for someone who has battled injuries the last few years, they’ll do.
This year, however, Chavez has stepped up his game a bit. Now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chavez, in a limited role, has produced solid numbers for Arizona. He’s had a few brief bouts with injuries, but for the most part, since leaving Oakland, Chavez has found a way to make it onto the diamond.
The former Athletic has posted a .305/.350/.537 slash line with 9 HR and 40 RBI in 61 games this year. He’s driven in more runs this year compared to last year and has a shot to surpass last year’s total of 16 homers.
Since the All-Star break, Chavez has hit .300/.349/.575 with 3 HR and 10 RBI. He’s proven once again this year that he is capable of being an effective and productive player off the bench. He’s also proven to be a solid option against right-handed pitching as he’s hit .311/.362/.565 with 9 HR and 36 RBI against them.
He may not be the once great player he once was, but it is nice to see Chavy playing well these days. I sure wouldn’t mind seeing him back in Oakland.