Yesterday, the New York Daily News reportedthat Eric Chavez will be looking to play baseball in 2013. This was according to Chavez’s agent, Scott Leventhal. The agent went on further to say that several teams were interested in Chavez’s services. The former Oakland A’s product spent last year coming off of the bench for the Yankees. He hit .281 with 16 home runs and an .845 OPS in 113 games.
Oct 16, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Eric Chavez (12) at bat during game three of the 2012 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Cubs certainly have admitted the need to address their third base situation and could sell Chavez on a shot at a starting job. For the Cubs, Chavez would certainly represent an upgrade over Ian Stewart based on the 2012 offensive numbers. Even if Chavez is not able to be pushed past the 113 games he played in last season, the Cubs would have in house options such as Luis Valbuena and Josh Vitters to step in when needed.
The question of mutual fit will come down to what Chavez’s asking price will be and whether or not the veteran will prefer to play for a contender, even if it is in a reserve role. At age 34 and without a World Series ring, playing for a winning ball club is one factor that should not be ignored. If Chavez does come to the Cubs on a budget friendly deal, the front office could also promise to deal Chavez to a playoff race team of his choosing come July.
The market has yet to determine what Chavez’s going rate should be, as players such as Marco Scutaro, Jeff Keppinger, and Stephen Drew are also available free agents. Those are the names that the Yankees are apparently considering now that Alex Rodriguez will be missing a few months due to surgery. Regardless, Chavez is a name Cubs fans should keep in the back of their minds as Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer make their rounds at the Winter Meetings this week.