Tuesday morning Yankees manager Joe Girardi referred to Eric Chavez as a player in the mix to back-up Mark Teixeira at first base or Alex Rodriguez at third.
Were he on the roster that would have made perfect sense.
Well, unsurprisingly, Chavez signed a one-year, $900,000 major league deal Tuesday evening to return to the Yankees. The move had been expected — apparently even by the manager.
“If you wanted to DH Tex, you could move Swish to first if you wanted,” Girardi told reporters in camp. “Or you could put Chavez at first.”
Girardi went on to say that was “if [Chavez] shows up. That’s not official.”
Chavez was an able replacement last season before being injured, a tag which has followed him for much of his career. He played in 58 games last season, his first with the club, batting .263 with 26 runs batted in.
He broke a bone in his right foot May 5 in the middle of having a solid start to the season. He was batting .303 with a .410 on-base percentage in 17 games, including eight starts. But the injured foot would put him on the shelf until July 26 when he came off the disabled list.
Chavez’s career in Oakland was ravaged by injuries. He was a six-time Gold Glove winner from 2001-2006. He also hit at least 20 homers each of those seasons and won the Silver Slugger in 2002. But various injuries limited him to just 154 games over his final four seasons in Oakland.