When the New York Yankees lost assistant hitting coach and “Swiss Army knife” Eric Chavez to the New York Mets last week after mere days on the job, fans were understandably frustrated.
The Yankees announced this move before Christmas and manager Aaron Boone went on the record to praise Chavez for what he could bring to the table. Then, hardly two weeks later, Chavez was able to take a promotion in Queens despite not contributing an iota of his energy to the Bombers.
Didn’t the Mets have ample time to hire Chavez before the Yankees did? Why were the Yankees allowing someone who had just signed a contract to seek job opportunities elsewhere?
According to reports, the swap was said to be made in good faith, but this further speaks to the Yankees’ lack of a cutthroat approach in any facet of the game. Why is the organization allowing new hires to immediately seek better opportunities?
Perhaps there was a clause in Chavez’s contract that allowed this (the team has yet to comment on the departure, so we don’t know). But even so, why are they providing such outs for people who have yet to even work a day for the organization?
Couldn’t they just have done what the San Diego Padres did when they denied the Mets an opportunity to interview bench coach Ryan Flaherty?
Why didn’t the Yankees simply deny the Mets a chance to interview Eric Chavez?
The Mets were offering a “promotion” for Chavez (assistant hitting coach to hitting coach) in the same way that Flaherty would’ve moved from quality control coach to bench coach. Same situation … but with Chavez, the departure feels even stranger considering he had never been a coach on an MLB roster. It’s not like he was a longtime bench coach waiting for his opportunity as a manager.
And it’s not like he couldn’t have left the Yankees after one year on the job, either! As multiple outlets have noted, this was an “uncommon” occurrence. Why did the Yankees turn something “uncommon” into “incredibly easy”?
This franchise has lost out on far too many free agents, fallen short in far too many big games, and gotten embarrassed by chief rivals time and time again. As insignificant as it sounds, letting an assistant hitting coach you’re bullish on immediately depart to a team in the same city, when, again, you’re the New York Yankees — a label that apparently means nothing anymore — can be filed under “embarrassing.”
Now the Yankees are back at square one and need to fill an assistant coaching position when they should be focused more on their next steps for their roster post-lockout.