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Eric Chavez announces retirement

Jul 30, 2014, 3:51 PM EDT

Eric Chavez

Eric Chavez, who’s spent most of this season on the Diamondbacks’ disabled list with a knee injury, has decided to retire now rather than waiting until the offseason.

Injuries derailed what was a very promising career for Chavez while with the A’s, but he bounced back and got healthy enough to thrive in part-time roles for the Yankees and Diamondbacks.

Before all the health problems struck he was a spectacular defensive third baseman with 30-homer power who posted an above-average OPS every season from 2000-2007 and won six Gold Glove awards by age 28. But then he never topped 400 plate appearances in a season after age 29 and retires at 36 with 260 homers, 1,477 hits, and an .818 OPS in 1,615 games while earning nearly $85 million.

It’s a shame Chavez couldn’t have had an injury-free career, because he was an excellent all-around player and dramatically underrated, but he still managed to have a helluva run.

  1. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Enjoy some time off your aching knees and back, buddy, and thanks for lighting up the highlight reels all these years.

    • dickclydesdale - Jul 31, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      No farewell tour for the Mexican that did not speak Spanish?

  2. buccan33rz1976 - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    Don’t know if never posting a 200 hit season and never batting 300 justifies being underrated…. He was a solid 3rd baseman and played well for about 3 seasons on offense……

    • dsaverno - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      what weird numbers to mention. He also never hit 35 home runs or had 115 RBI, or walked 96 times or struck out 130 times. Also, according to sources, he has never driven in excess of 95mph while brushing his teeth.

    • scatterbrian - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      Mike Schmidt never had a 200 hit season either, and only hit 300 (sic) once in a strike-shortened season. No, I am not directly comparing the two, just pointing out how meaningless your examples are.

    • Trevor_P - Jul 31, 2014 at 7:41 AM

      Well, I count six seasons where Chavez was more than three wins above average with his bat. So it sounds like, in the process of arguing he’s not underrated, you’ve actually underrated him.

      • Trevor_P - Jul 31, 2014 at 7:46 AM

        I mean, above replacement. Still, you get the point.

    • sethcohenplayedsomeball - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      And he made $85 million more than you did playing ball buccan33rz1976. So there’s that.

  3. dgbk - Jul 30, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    He had more then 3 decent offensive seasons. He wasn’t great but I can see why some can consider him underrated. He was a power hitter for the most part, not every power hitter hits 300 with 200 hits. To my knowledge david ortiz never had 200 hits in a season. You picked two things chavez clearly never reached to marginalized his career. For a six to seven yr span he was a top 5 third baseman more than just solid.

  4. neoshweaty - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    His numbers say he was still fairly effective in limited time this year. Is this just him not wanting to play through injuries anymore/not wanting to play through injuries on the D’backs?

  5. wogggs - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Always one of my favorites with the A’s.

  6. scatterbrian - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Dude was never an All-Star, which is kind of BS.

    Then again, at least we all got to see Tony Batista, Shea Hillenbrand, Hank Blalock, and Melvin Mora.

    • genericcommenter - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Well, yeah. Though Melvin Mora had a .981 OPS with 27 HR, .340/.419/.562, 111 R, 41 2B, 11 SB in season that he did not even make the All Star team, and made it in 2 seasons sandwiched around that one in which he was very good. From 2002-2005 he was a borderline AS caliber player who fielded multiple positions.

      Batista? Avg to not good, but with sexy power numbers.
      Hillenbrand? Not great, but one of those guys who put up decent numbers and manage to sneak into a couple.
      Blalock? Actually really good those 2 years, especially for age and position.

  7. edelmanfanclub - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Chavez is a good player. 16 years in the big leagues. Very good from 00-05. At the end of the day .342 OBP, .818 OPS 260 HR and a postive dWAR. I think thats a very good career. Not a HOF or retired number status but not many people are.

  8. platediscipline - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    A Pro’s Pro.

  9. mtr75 - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    He wasn’t underrated at all. Anybody who knows anything about baseball knows he was a top-tier Hurd baseman when he was healthy. You aren’t “underrated” die to the fact that you spent the last 7 years on the DL. You can say people have forgotten how good he was when he wasn’t hurt, but that’s different than not appreciating what he was when healthy.

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