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Eric Chavez is “leaning heavily” toward retirement

Oct 7, 2011, 5:00 PM EST

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Getty Images

Joel Sherman of the New York Post just tweeted that, while there’s nothing official yet, he’s hearing that Yankees utilityman Eric Chavez is “leaning heavily” toward retirement.

Chavez had more plate appearances this year than he had had since 2007 — a whole 175 of them — but the magic is long gone.  He hit .263/.320/.356 with two homers in a utility role that, thanks to yet more injuries, was more limited than it otherwise would have been given A-Rod’s injuries.  It’s hard to conclude anything other than “it’s time.”

There was a time several years ago, however, when it looked like Chavez was a Hall of Famer in the making. From 2000-2006 he hit .273/.352/.495 with 199 homers while winning six gold gloves.  Believing that he was the future of the franchise, the A’s gave him a six-year, $66 million contract in 2005.  Sadly, injuries started to plague him a year later and he never played in 100 games after 2006.

If this is the end, it represents the end of one of the more notable “what if” careers in recent baseball history.  And reminds us that durability, however unsexy it may be, is perhaps the most underrated trait for an elite baseball player.

  1. yankeesgameday - Oct 7, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Had he just hit a pinch hit homer for Gardner in the ALDS he’d have a lifelong contract with YES just like Al Leiter, John Flattery and David Justice.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 7, 2011 at 6:50 PM

      I’m guessing you mis-spelled Flaherty’s name on purpose. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      • deathmonkey41 - Oct 7, 2011 at 7:52 PM

        I like John Flaherty as an announcer.

  2. halladaysbiceps - Oct 7, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    It seems like yesterday that Chavez was a rookie. God, time flies by fast. Hard to believe he’s been in the league for 11 years.

  3. jmf1985 - Oct 7, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Of all the mvp’s and all stars the A’s let walk during those days, it’s a shame that the guy they loved and the ONLY guy they paid could never stay healthy and was never the same again

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