In possibly their last move of 2012, the KC Royals signed veteran outfielder Endy Chavez to a minor league deal on Monday.
He is expected to compete with Jarrod Dyson for the fourth outfielder spot behind expected starters Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, and Jeff Francoeur.
Chavez spent 2011 with the American League Champion Texas Rangers and part of 2012 with the surprising Baltimore Orioles. So he brings some playoff experience with him. And who can forget THAT catch he made over the wall at Shea Stadium to rob the Cardinals of a homerun during the playoffs in 2006.
With Baltimore in 2012, he hit just .203 with two homeruns, six doubles, 12 RBIs, and three stolen bases. That came in just 158 at-bats. Chavez was worse than that in the Orioles minor league system, where he played at four levels. In 15 games in Triple-A, he hit just .149 with six strikeouts and zero stolen bases.
Unfortunately, for a guy with speed, his on-base percentage leaves a lot to be desired: just .309 in his career. Even with all that speed, he has never stolen more than 32 bases in a season. And that total came back in 2004. He hasn’t stolen more than 12 bases in the big leagues since then.
Injuries have also hampered Chavez over his career. In 2012, he had both an oblique injury and a hamstring problem.
I’m thinking that Chavez is just an emergency option in case Dyson or Cain get hurt. Dyson would be the better option for the fourth outfielder, though Chavez has played all three outfield spots.