The Bombers announced their full 2022 coaching staff on Tuesday night — well, twice actually, considering they left out catching instructor Tanner Swanson the first time — and the one “surprise” on the menu was Eric Chavez, a 2011-12 Yankee hired as an assistant hitting coach.
While you likely know Chavez from his Oakland A’s days and late-career Yankees resurgence, he’s been floating around the national managerial pool the past few seasons, and was most prominently an Angels option prior to their hiring of Joe Maddon. Like new A’s manager Mark Kotsay, he’s a name that’s been circulating, and he’s now gotten his start in a big-league dugout thanks to Boone and Brian Cashman.
According to Boone’s first commentary post-hiring on Wednesday, Chavez really impressed everyone he needed to.
According to Boone, though Chavez will ostensibly be an offensive mind, he’ll also serve as a “Swiss Army knife,” filling various needs for the coaching staff and learning plenty on-site.
In essence, if he’s not the Yankees’ next-in-line manager, he certainly will be somebody’s after a year or two on the job. Hopefully, he continues “blowing people away” in this organization instead of somebody else’s?
Yankees’ Aaron Boone had high praise for Eric Chavez
It’s not like the Yankees organization ever really lost sight of Chavez. Former executive Billy Eppler, after being promoted to the Angels’ GM spot, brought him along to Anaheim, installing the ex-third baseman as a special assistant after 2015 before promoting him to manage the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees in mid-August 2018.
Eppler’s, of course, now the Mets GM, so it seems the Yankees hustled to get Chavez under their control instead of watching him slide across town and either fill that managerial vacancy or back up Buck Showalter.
Luis Rojas and Eric Chavez on the same staff, and it’s in the Bronx. Imagine that.
Boone’s admission about Chavez’s expanding role indicates he could eventually become a close confidant in the same way that we always envisioned Boone’s future “experienced bench coach” hire being. We don’t know much beyond what we’ve been told by team leadership, but Chavez’s offensive philosophy has certainly grown to match modern trends, as he related to The Athletic a few seasons ago during his Angels tenure.
What more can you say? Expect a massive year for Joey Gallo and a massive leap to the end of the history books in the Yankees’ offensive philosophy.
Hopefully, Boone has added a trusted advisor by his side, as well as someone who can eventually step into his shoes if the offense peaks while other things falter.