Endy Chavez Gone for Season: Will he Return Next Year?

Hayato UwaiCorrespondent IJune 23, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 27:  Endy Chavez #10 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by teammates after he scored on a Franklin Gutierrez #21 double  in the ninth inning of their game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum on May 27, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

You have probably heard it, but Seattle Mariners' left fielder, Endy Chavez, will miss the remainder of 2009 season after colliding with SS Yuniesky Betancourt trying to catch a pop fly. It's a big blow to the MarinersChavez provided stellar defence in left field for the M's.

But here's a question: Will he return to the Mariners next year?

Chavez was acquired by the Mariners from the Mets in a 12-player deal, which also sent SP Jason Vargas, 1B Mike Carp, CF Franklin Gutierrez, and several minor league players to the Mariners.

Chavez started off this season hitting over .300 to fill in for Ichiro Suzuki, who missed the first eight games of the season. He cooled down, but he still provided defence to help the Mariners' pitching staff, the best in the American League.

A guy like Jarrod Washburn was helped a lot by Chavez, since Washburn is more of a fly-ball pitcher. Washburn is having a great year, posting ERA of 3.24.

So let's get back to the topic. Chavez is under contract for this season only, meaning he will be a free agent after this season. It is expected that he will miss the spring training and maybe the first few months in the season. Should the Mariners keep him? I think they should, at least to a minor league contract.

Chavez fits Jack Zduriencik and Don Wakamatsu's game: small ball. Chavez can bunt well, he is an aggressive runner, and he can also swipe many bases. If he can recover from this injury fully, then I think he is worth giving a spot on the roster. It should be a low-risk, high-reward contract.

Another thing: Chavez won't block the path of young prospects. Although Chavez is a good player, he is not a star player like Ichiro. So he won't block the path of young prospects coming up, like Wladimir Balentien or Michael Saunders.

Chavez will be a reserve if those guys get more playing time, but should give good influence to Balentien and Saunders.

So what do you think? Do you think the Mariners will keep him or let him go? Give me some ideas.