Alex Rodriguez isn’t due back from knee surgery until mid-August, but instead of relying on Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Laird as fill-ins the Yankees have another option at third base: Eric Chavez.
The oft-injured veteran has been on the disabled list since May with a fractured foot, but went 7-for-21 (.333) with a homer and two doubles during a brief minor-league rehab assignment and is in the Yankees’ starting lineup tonight.
Counting on Chavez to play every day is obviously crazy at this point, but using him at third base versus most right-handed pitchers while Nunez steps into the lineup against most left-handed pitchers makes some sense. Chavez hit .310 with an .834 OPS in 17 games prior to the fractured foot and was a six-time Gold Glove winner at third base before all the injuries derailed his career. Maybe he can stay healthy until Rodriguez returns in a few weeks, at least.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.