Eric Chavez spent his entire 15-year career in the American League (Athletics, Yankees) before coming to the Diamondbacks this past December.
Chavez signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the team, and will man the position he’s played his whole career – the hot corner, third base.
He’s slated right now to backup fellow newcomer Martin Prado at that spot. Chavez will also slide in for first baseman Paul Goldschmidt as needed.
After five injury plagued seasons in Oakland and New York, Chavez bounced back last year for the Yankees and had a very solid season in relief of Alex Rodriguez.
Chavez hit .281 with 16 home runs and 37 RBI in 113 games for New York.
At age 35, Chavez has taken the relegation of being a backup in stride. He told me that the Diamondbacks were the first and only team he wanted to play for post-Yankees.
“For me it was a no-brainer, I was not gonna squabble over anything,” Chavez said. “I told my agent, ‘Make sure this is where I end up.'”
Chavez attributes last season’s bounce back to a change in his diet and eating habits.
“The last two years that I had in New York [were] very positive for me,” Chavez said. “I’ve seemed to found, whether it be diet, routine [or] certain things that have helped me along the way, and I’m just gonna stick with those and hopefully they prove to be positive.”
Chavez went through his first full workout with his new team on Friday, and he likes what he sees from his team and his infield mates in general.
“It’s gonna be a good infield, we’re gonna work hard I’ll tell you that,” Chavez said. “We’re gonna work on making the routine plays and hopefully putting up some runs when we come up to the plate.”
“We’ve got a lot of hard-nosed baseball players in here,” Chavez said. “It’s gonna be a good group, a great clubhouse, we’re gonna pull for each other, play hard and hopefully we’ll win about 90-some games.”
Prado was the biggest cog to come over from the Braves in the Justin Upton trade. Chavez says he’s a relatively unknown gem in the making for Arizona, and he’s excited about backing him up.
“Prado, to me, is one of the top-20 baseball players in the game, and not a lot of people know about him, but here in the desert they’re gonna find out what type of player he is,” Chavez said. “Prado’s a great pickup, and we’re looking forward to having him here in the middle of our lineup.”
For Chavez, this coming season isn’t about numbers or setting any personal goals.
“My big thing has always been health, and that’s always first on my list and whatever Gibby [manager Kirk Gibson] needs me to do,” Chavez said.