Endy Chavez Signs with Royals

Happy New Year, everyone!

While you were sipping Champagne and watching bowl games, there were a few minor moves simmering on the Hot Stove.

For one, former Met Endy Chavez has agreed to terms with the Kansas City Royals on a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to spring training. Sorry, nostalgic Mets fans — dreams of seeing Endy chasing fly balls in Flushing are dashed for the moment. Instead, he’ll vie for an outfield spot in KC, competing with Jeff Francoeur and Xavier Nady, among others.

By the way, did you know that Endy Chavez began his MLB career with the Royals? I had forgotten that. The Mets originally found him in Venezuela, signing him in 1996, but the Royals plucked him out of the Mets system in the 2000 Rule 5 Draft. Technically, he was returned to the Mets at the end of 2001 spring training, but a trade was worked out so the Royals could keep him. He made his MLB debut on May 29, 2001, starting in center field and batting ninth for the Royals in Texas against the Rangers (he collected an RBI single in four at-bats). Oh, by the way — Carlos Beltran was the leadoff batter for the Royals that day. Eventual or former Mets Joe Randa, Frank Catalanotto, and Rey Sanchez also started in that ballgame. How’s that for a walk down memory lane?

The Royals also gave a minor league contract / ST invite to Miguel Tejada. Tejada last played in MLB in 2011, and played 36 games for Norfolk (Orioles AAA) in 2012. Tejada has a legitimate shot to make the Royals as a utility man. He gets a guaranteed $1.1M contract with another $400,000 possible in incentives.

In other news from the past few days, the Brewers signed lefthanded reliever Mike Gonzalez, so scratch him off the list. Gonzalez gets a one year, $2.25M deal, plus incentives, which sounds pretty reasonable for a LHP who struck out 9.8 batters per 9 innings and throws a 94-MPH sinker. Though, he still walks far too many batters (4 BB/9 IP). Gonzalez joins fellow lefty free-agent signee Tom Gorzelanny and recently acquired Burke Badenhop in the revamped Milwaukee bullpen.

Finally, Hideki Matsui has retired, so forget about the dream of Godzilla platooning with Collin Cowgill in left field for the Mets in 2012.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. mike B January 1, 2013 at 6:31 pm
    Happy New Year Paul, JK Joe.

    I am actually day dreaming of a Nady Chavez Francouer starting outfield in flushing for 2013. At this point I would take three of whatever Sandy plans on throwing out there.

  2. Dan B January 1, 2013 at 7:06 pm
    The Royals have already signed George Sherrill, Dan Wheeler, and Willy Taveras to minor league contracts this off season. Seems like the Royals are taking a lot of looks at former MLers for rock bottom prices. Maybe they believe some of their prospects are not MLB ready and prefer to keep them in the minors until they learn the fundamentals. In the mean time, their fans get to watch players who, while being a shadow of their former selves, are at least recognizable. In the best case scenario, the Royals have fill in pieces that, if they decide not to keep, other teams might want at the trading deadline. I guess that is how the big market teams do it.
    • Joe Janish January 1, 2013 at 8:29 pm
      I’m glad you brought up the Royals’ signings of Sherrill, Wheeler, and Taveras, because I was looking at them and thinking the same thing — and further, aren’t these the type of no-risk, mild-reward guys that Alderson and co. should be going after? Taveras especially, since the Mets have no center fielder with extensive MLB experience in their organization. Granted, Taveras can only hit singles and never takes a walk, so he’s not useful in a leadoff role, but he’s always flashed a good glove and can run like the wind. His limited offensive skills are the reason he’s a cheap minor league free agent — and though not an ideal answer, a better answer than no answer at all.
  3. DaveSchneck January 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm
    Joe,
    Wishing a happy and healthy 2013 to you, your family, and your readers. I briefly thought of an Endy reunion, but hopefully they will do better. Coco makes a lot of sense based upon Beane’s asking price. A professional CF and leadoff hitter, albeit with a lower than desired OBP, will go a long way towards legitimizing the Mets as a major league product. Also, basepath speed is desperately needed, and not just for SBs. Tejada is a nice player but it takes two hits to score him from 1st. He should be batting 8th.