After contemplating retirement following four straight injury wrecked seasons Eric Chavez instead signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees and has parlayed a healthy, productive spring training into a spot on the Opening Day roster.
Chavez has hit .405 with a homer and four doubles in 42 at-bats this spring, which is remarkable less for the batting average and more for the fact that he averaged just 77 at-bats for the A’s during the past three seasons.
He’ll serve as the corner infield backup behind third baseman Alex Rodriguez and first baseman Mark Teixeira, while perhaps also seeing a little action at designated hitter in place of Jorge Posada. At this point a part-time role is ideal for Chavez and if healthy he could be an excellent reserve, but “if healthy” stopped meaning much with him years ago.
Chavez will receive $1.5 million upfront for making the team and can earn another $4 million in incentives based on playing time.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.