New York Yankees: Team Will Stick with Eric Chavez at Third Base

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IJuly 26, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 25:  Eric Chavez #12 of the New York Yankees bats against the Oakland Athletics at Coliseum on May 25, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Over the last 24 hours, we've all been wondering what third basemen the Yankees were going to target in a trade.

The speculation started after baseball got news that Alex Rodriguez had suffered a broken hand and would be out 4-8 weeks.

It's not easy to have a hitter like A-Rod out of the lineup, but last season the Yankees managed while he recovered from arthroscopic knee surgery.

All day Wednesday, people wondered if the Yankees would look into players like Chase Headley, Aramis Ramirez, Ty Wigginton or Chone Figgins.

But according to Wallace Matthews of ESPN, the Yankees will not be making a trade for a third basemen.

Instead, according to Matthews, the Yankees will stick with Eric Chavez as their starting third basemen for the time being, while having Jayson Nix and the recently recalled Ramiro Pena as the backups.

Yankees' GM Brian Cashman doesn't feel the team needs to make a deal because the injury to A-Rod doesn't require surgery and the team should eventually get him back towards the end of the season.

"Because we're going to get him back, I don't see this as a particular area of need," Cashman said. "It doesn't mean I won't listen."

In 2012, Chavez has hit .266 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 65 games for the Yankees, playing mostly as a fill-in and defensive replacement late in games.

Chavez isn't the star he once was with the Oakland A's, but he can still play a solid third base and he's got some pop in his bat.

Granted, Chavez is no Alex Rodriguez, but he doesn't need to be. Chavez can concentrate on hitting, getting on base and trying to drive in important runs when the game is in crucial situations.

Putting Eduardo Nunez is not an option given how many errors he was making in the field. Despite being 34 years old, Chavez is still a better defensive fielder than Nunez is.

Chavez's health has held up in 2012 and the Yankees will need him now more than ever.

While most people would have liked to have seen a trade for someone like Headley, sticking with Chavez shows that Cashman won't deal away good prospects just to salvage a couple of months in a season.

"I'm not about to gut my farm system for any of those guys," Cashman said.

Cashman made a very risky trade on Monday afternoon, landing long-time Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki for two minor-leaguers in what was basically a salary dump by Seattle.

Eight or nine years ago, trying to trade for Ichiro would have cost the Yankees at least five prospects—maybe more.

But with Ichiro on the downside of his career, he knew he could get him on the cheap.

With a third basemen, I don't think Cashman could get anyone without surrendering decent prospects.

Which is why for now, sticking with Chavez at third base seems to be the right move for the team.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.


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