As the Diamondbacks wrapped up their matinee with a series victory, word came down that veteran third baseman Eric Chavez was announcing his retirement.
Dbacks veteran Eric Chavez, who has battled knee problems all season, is retiring.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) July 30, 2014
Chavez gave up more than $1M by walking away now. said he wouldn't have felt right taking the $. http://t.co/5EgwFGHqk8— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 30, 2014
After 17 seasons, 1,477 hits, 260 home runs, six Rawling’s Gold Gloves, and a Silver Slugger Award, Eric Chavez is hanging up his cleats. Most notably known as the slick-fielding third base cornerstone of the Moneyball Oakland Athletics, Eric Chavez came to Arizona after a strong 2012 season with the New York Yankees. Seen at the time as a savvy acquisition by Kevin Towers, who managed to woo Chavez away from multiple suitors, Chavez did not disappoint.
In limited playing time as a back-up third baseman and defensive replacement, Eric Chavez proved to be the best option for hitting in the cleanup spot behind Paul Goldschmidt. In 124 games spread across roughly 1.5 seasons, Eric Chavez hit .273 with 12 HR, and 17 doubles while driving in 52. He maintained an .807 OPS while continuing to play excellent defense at the hot corner despite his age-limited range. Chavez’s numbers likely would have been even better if he could have remained healthy enough to take the field. Unfortunately for both Eric Chavez and the Arizona Diamondbacks, his knees simply were not up to the challenge. On June 8th Eric Chavez once again went to the DL with knee troubles. This time there was simply no coming back. By retiring effective immediately, Eric Chavez leaves more than $1 million dollars on the table, saying he wouldn’t feel right taking the money when he knows he won’t be able to play again. Solid performance on the field. A non-assuming demeanour, and a classy move like that would have been enough for Chavez to go down as one of the more likable Diamondbacks of the past four or five years. But let’s face it, he could have stunk it up in the field and kept every last dollar so long as he still came through with this, easily his most memorable moment as a Diamondback:
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With two out in the bottom of the ninth, Chavez came in cold off the bench to keep the Diamondbacks from being perfect-oed by mediocre former Diamondback pitcher Yusmeiro Petit. Thanks to those heroics, the Diamondbacks avoided a very embarrassing highlight real that would have lasted through the ages.
Thank you Eric Chavez. Good luck and best wishes in your retirement from playing the greatest game on Earth.