As we know from Ken Gurnick, the 33-year-old often injured power hitter worked out at Camelback Ranch this past Thursday for assistant general managers De Jon Watson and Logan White and batting coach Jeff Pentland. Remember when Chavez was a young hitter, full of potential? The kid seemed like a lock for 100 RBIs and 25+ home runs.
I’ve always felt that, if healthy by the start of Spring Training, Chavez would be a great value-based signing for Colletti and the Dodgers. Plus Chavez loves playing in California (in Ned-speak: “a guy who wants to be here.”) Here’s part of what I wrote back on November 17, 2010 ( “Eric Chavez and the Dodgers are a Good Fit” ):
Ned’s going to be looking at inexpensive sources of power, and having Chavez platoon with Casey Blake at third base seems completely realistic. Plus the Dodgers like signing players that are rebounding from injuries that they might be able to catch on the uptick. The Dodgers’ signing of Orlando Hudson is probably the best comparison to how a possible Chavez deal could look (obviously the dollars would be different), but the Dodgers did work Hudson out in secret on two consecutive days to test out his surgically repaired wrist before signing him. Granted, Chavez could be considered a bigger gamble than Hudson was at that time, but I could easily see Chavez working out for Ned & Co. a couple of times and then getting a one-year deal that’s low on base salary, yet full of incentives if everything checks out physically. I like it.
And here’s what Gurnick reported on Thursday:
If the Dodgers are impressed, they would be looking at Chavez as a backup or platoon-mate with Casey Blake at third base and a power left-handed bat off the bench. They would likely offer him an incentive-filled Minor League contract, as their 40-man roster if full.
The deal isn’t done yet, but this is totally the type of signing that has Ned Colletti written all over it. If there was a way to bet on free agent signings, I would put money down on Chavez being in Dodger Blue by this time next month.
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