On Sunday, the Baltimore Orioles signed veteran outfielder Endy Chavez to a one year deal. Right now, I would think he would fill in as a fourth outfielder – mainly playing left and center field – and perhaps a quick pinch runner off the bench.
It looks like Dan Duquette found the fourth outfielder he wanted; however, Chavez is a nice fielder, solid player and certainly has wheels, but he won’t be anything at special at the plate. He’s a guy who can provide depth, and has played on a few winners in his career.
Here’s more on Chavez from the Baltimore Sun:
Chavez, 33, has played 10 seasons in the majors, including 83 games last season with the Texas Rangers. In 2011, Chavez hit .301 with a .323 on-base percentage, five homers and 10 steals in 256 at-bats. Known for his good speed and defensive prowess, Chavez also played in 30 games with Triple-A Round Rock last year.
A native of Venezuela, Chavez has played with seven big league teams in his career: the Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners and Rangers. He spent parts of four seasons with the Expos/Nationals and three with the Mets. His best year was 2006, when he drove in 42 runs, stole 12 bases and set career highs in batting average (.306) and on-base percentage (.348) for the Mets. He also made one of the greatest defensive plays in postseason history, leaping at the outfield wall in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series to rob St. Louis’ Scott Rolen of a home run. Chavez quickly threw the ball into the infield to complete an inning-ending double play.
I know Duquette has been working on building up the Oriole bench; however, for the most part, moves like this and what we have seen so far during this winter have been somewhat underwhelming. I don’t know if the Orioles are being ‘cheap’ as Sun columnist Kevin Cowherd thinks, but yes, the additions made so far have not excited me – or most fans – in the least.