Chavez's 1-year deal is worth $1.5 million, with an additional $500,000 in incentives. He fits what the Orioles have been looking for: a left-handed hitter who can play left field and backup in center and right.
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Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said earlier this week that he has been attempting to add a left-handed outfielder who can back up Adam Jones in center and play left – perhaps in a platoon with right-handed hitting Nolan Reimold.
A native of Venezuela, Chavez has played with seven big league teams in his career: the Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners and Rangers.
He spent parts of four seasons with the Expos/Nationals and three with the Mets. His best year was 2006, when he drove in 42 runs, stole 12 bases and set career highs in batting average (.306) and on-base percentage (.348) for the Mets. He also made one of the greatest defensive plays in postseason history, leaping at the outfield wall in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series to rob St. Louis’ Scott Rolen of a home run. Chavez quickly threw the ball into the infield to complete an inning-ending double play.
He missed part of 2009 and didn’t play in the majors at all in 2010 while rehabbing from a torn ACL in his right knee that he suffered during a collision in June, 2009.