Saturday, January 22, 2011

Eric Chavez a real possibility for the Dodgers?

Yes, that Eric Chavez. Chavez is the man who has played 154 games in the last four years, combined.

Susan Slusser, who covers the Oakland Athletics for the San Francisco Chronicle, passed along some information on her blog about Chavez's recent workout with the Dodgers.
"I heard from a scout who works for another NL team that the Dodgers were raving about Eric Chavez's tryout today; he swung the bat well and apparently looked healthy after being put through his paces."
"...I know that Chavez is really excited about the Dodgers, so I hope that's where he lands."
While the Dodgers haven't come out and said anything formally, they did bring him in for the workout, so there's obviously some interest.

Color me skeptical. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be opposed to a deal because he wouldn't cost a lot of money and would make the Dodgers use Casey Blake in his more effective role: as a part-time/utility player.

However, this is a guy who last played more than 90 games in 2006 (when he played 137).

Chavez was a good hitter in his prime and a great defender, but his last four seasons have been plagued by a multitude of injuries.

His career splits against right-handed pitchers is promising, though.

Still, it's hard to overlook the injuries. Can the Dodgers really expect Chavez to remain healthy, even in a platoon role? We'll see. It's worth the risk to bring him in on a cheap contract, but that also leaves the Dodgers in a quandary.

A few days ago, I predicted and made my case for Justin Sellers to make the team out of Spring Training. Because if Rafael Furcal goes down, Jamey Carroll and Juan Uribe are the only other players on the roster capable of playing shortstop effectively.

So, do the Dodgers bring in the veteran and hope to strike lightning in a bottle, leaving only one true reserve shortstop? Or do they give the young guy a chance and save the money they'd spend on Chavez?

We shall see.

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