I know, I was a bit surprised when I read the headline on mlbtraderumors.com which stated that San Diego may be looking at acquiring the 34 year old Third Baseman (according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com). But since the Padres have been making deals all over the place all offseason, I guess nothing should surprise me thus far. However, I would like to give my two cents on the situation and whether or not the Padres should go for Eric Chavez.
Chavez could inevitably bring a few nice things to the table for the Padres. First, Chavez would give the Padres a solid backup Third Baseman and could come in if need be and play some First as well. In addition, if Chavez is healthy he could give San Diego some quality at-bats late in games as a Lefty coming off the bench, or start in a pinch if Headley needs a day off. Chavez could also be affordable as he made only $1.5 million dollars with the Yankees last season, and if the Padres are willing to fork over the dough, they may be able to get a nice return on their investment. Finally, Chavez is a local San Diego guy having played his High School ball at Mt. Carmel High School. In addition to that, Chavez has his “Eric Chavez Baseball Academy” located in San Diego and would probably be willing to sign with his home-town team.
In terms of the minuses, it’s the injury bug that has hurt Chavez as of late. Eric has not played in more than 58 games in a season since 2007. Moreover, he broke his foot last season while playing with the Yankees and the Padres may be $2 million in the hole if Chavez goes down with any sort of injury. $2 million is pennies to a team like the Yankees, but to a team like the Padres, a negative return on an investment like that could be extremely detrimental when considering there are other positions of need on the diamond. It might be a too “high-risk” situation for San Diego to gamble on at this point.
Personally I think the Padres would be better served pursuing the route of signing of their already solid players to extensions (Maybin, Quentin, etc.) than acquiring players at positions they already have. If Chavez were a Middle Infielder or a Back-End Starter I might be changing my tune, but as it stands Chavez falls into neither category, and the Padres have little to no use for him with Headley still the solid every day Third Baseman.
Still, if the Padres brass and doctors think he can be healthy, and he passes the medical physicals, and they can acquire him at $1.5-$2 million (or less with a hometown discount or something like it), it couldn’t hurt to explore the situation.
However, the pressing need for other positions and resigning the guys already on their team trumps acquiring Chavez at this point, so my answer would have to be a No right now.
So what do you the readers think? Should the Padres go after Chavez if they can afford him?
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