Isn't this why the Yanks have Chavez?

July, 25, 2012
7/25/12
10:56
AM ET



Eric Chavez already has played his most games in a season since 2007. With 63 games in the books, Chavez surpassed his 58 from last year, which were enough for the Yankees to invite him back for another year at a million bucks.

The last time Chavez appeared in more than 100 games was 2006. He probably won't make it to triple-digits this season, but he is about to get some regular third-base time, along with Jayson Nix.

Perhaps I'm missing something here, but with Alex Rodriguez out for an extended period, isn't this why Chavez is on the roster? If the Yanks don't think he can play a month or two without getting hurt, then why sign him in the first place?

There have already been rumors about going after Scott Rolen , Chase Headley or Ty Wigginton. All bat righty (Headley is a switch hitter) so potentially could platoon with Chavez.

The fact that A-Rod is hurt is hardly a surprise. You had to think something would happen eventually. At this point in his career (his 37th birthday is Friday), A-Rod lands on the DL at least once every year. He played 99 games last year and now is stuck on 93 this year. He is not the durable guy who prided himself on playing 148 games or more for a decade (1998-2007).

Although, Rodriguez looked better recently (8-for-21, a homer, a double in his past five games), his name is bigger than his game. He is a loss, but not a huge one. If you were to rank the big position player stars in terms of who you would prefer to lose, you can make a pretty good argument that A-Rod would be the choice over Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher. A-Rod, at .274/.354/.449, is a good third baseman, not elite, nor great.

Other options to replace A-Rod?Eduardo Nunez is rehabbing his thumb in Tampa and hasn't played regularly since May. Earlier that month, Nunez played third for the final time on May 10, committing two errors. The Yanks sent him to Triple-A the next day, saying he was going to concentrate on being a shortstop. Instead, Nunez has been hurt. Ramiro Pena can offer some depth in the near term. Brandon Laird is also at Triple-A.

So Chavez is the brittle choice to replace A-Rod. If the Yankees were to make a trade, they would be looking for a Chavez-type guy, which is essentially what Rolen is right now. So if the Yankees don't think Chavez can stay healthy and do this job, then why did they sign him in the first place?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .770
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135