Hot Stove: Red Sox, Yankees could compete for Eric Chavez
|12.04.12 at 8:24 pm ET|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With four free agent signings now in the books, here’s how the Red Sox roster looks:
C: David Ross – RH
C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (SH) or Ryan Lavarnway (RH)
1B: Mike Napoli – RH
2B: Dustin Pedroia – RH
3B: Will Middlebrooks – RH
SS: Jose Iglesias (or free agent) – RH
LF: Jonny Gomes – RH vs. LHP
LF: Ryan Kalish (LH) or Daniel Nava (SH) vs. RHP
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury (LH)
RF: Shane Victorino
DH: David Ortiz (LH)
UT (2B, 3B, SS): Pedro Ciriaco (RH)
That’s 12 roster spots for position players that seem fairly well defined, barring a trade. With the remaining spot, GM Ben Cherington suggested that he’d like to add a first baseman who can also play an additional position of positions. Given the right-handed tilt of the lineup, the team would likely also want a player who could rake against right-handers.
Enter Eric Chavez.
Chavez, who turns 35 this week, was an outstanding contributor for the Yankees in 2012, a bargain signing on a $900,000 deal that included playing time incentives. In 113 games, he hit .281/.348/.496/.845 with 16 homers in 313 plate appearances (all but 39 of which came against right-handers). He wasn’t a left-handed Yankee Stadium-created mirage, either — he had batter across-the-board offensive numbers on the road than he did at home.
A six-time Gold Glover at third base in his early career with the A’s, Chavez was a solid defender at both corners for the Yankees in 2012. A major league source confirmed that the Red Sox view Chavez as a potentially strong fit for their roster needs for 2013.
Of course, with Alex Rodriguez now out for the first couple months of 2013, the Yankees also have interest in retaining Chavez. That could pit the two division rivals against each other for his services, although with Will Middlebrooks positioned as an everyday third baseman for the Sox and Mike Napoli an everyday first baseman (with the versatility to slide behind the plate), Chavez might have a greater playing time opportunity in New York than Boston, particularly with Rodriguez out.
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