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Eric Chavez signed by Diamondbacks

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Corner-infielder Eric Chavez will indeed be back with Arizona in 2014, the left-handed hitter having re-signed with the Diamondbacks. This was first mentioned by Jon Heyman (redeeming himself for the Valverde thing!), but since confirmed by Steve Gilbert and Nick Piecoro.

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We were just talking about Chavez yesterday, and came to the conclusion that if Arizona didn't manage to get him back on board, there would be a significant hole in the team for 2014. There aren't many other options on the free-market that can play the third-base position and add some left-handed power to our bench, definitely aspects which the team, as constructed, needed to have. In 80 appearances for Arizona last season, Chavez hit .281/.332/.478 for a very respectable 120 OPS+, with nine home-runs in 254 PAs. He was particularly effective against right-handed pitching, against whom all nine homers came, putting up an .827 OPS.

No details at this point of the costs involved, but I would suspect it'll be something not too far off last season's one-year deal, which cost us $3 million. It could end up being somewhat more, considering that there did appear to be rather more competition for his services, and Chavez seemed to give the Diamondbacks a home-town discount. Heyman says, "Chavez preferred to stay home and play in Phoenix," but I guess we'll find out whether or not the discount extended to the 2014 campaign.

With that taken care of - as Towers wanted, before the holiday shutdown kicks into full gear - the team's remaining needs appear to be for one more starting pitcher and a back-up catcher. The latter may, or may not, be in house already, with Henry Blanco signed to a minor-league deal, and it could end up being a battle between him and Tuffy Gosewisch in spring training. Let's just hope Chavez is able to remain healthy for the entire 2014 campaign. We need someone to break up those perfect games with two outs in the ninth inning...