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.