Mets poach Eric Chavez from Yankees for hitting coach role

Eric Chavez
Eric Chavez

Before he even put on a Yankees uniform, Eric Chavez is jumping across town to join the Mets. 

As first reported by Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Chavez will not be joining the Yankees as an assistant batting coach but instead, he’ll head to Queens and join Buck Showalter’s coaching staff as the Mets’ hitting coach.

The Yankees originally announced Chavez’s addition to the coaching staff under hitting coach Dillon Lawson on Dec. 21.

Chavez spent 17 seasons as a player in the majors, mostly with the Oakland Athletics under current Mets president Sandy Alderson before cups of coffee with the Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks. A career .268 hitter with a .818 OPS and 260 home runs, Chavez was a six-time Gold Glove winner and a Silver Slugger in 2002 when he batted .275 with 34 home runs and 109 RBI.

Mets general manager Billy Eppler, then with the Yankees, helped bring Chavez over from Oakland in 2011. When Eppler took over as Los Angeles Angels general manager in 2015, Chavez wasn’t too far behind, serving as a special assistant to the GM and acting as the interim manager of the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees during the latter portions of the 2018 season.

He now joins a Mets coaching staff that is nearing its completion after a busy week. Joey Cora and Wayne Kirby have joined Showalter’s staff in recent days as third and first base coaches. Pitching coach Jeremy Hefner was the lone man retained from former manager Luis Rojas’ staff last season, which was shaken up in October when the team declined the second-year manager’s option for the 2022 season.

The most notable remaining position left to be filled under Showalter is now the bench coach role, which is expected to be addressed by the end of this week. 

According to Deesha Thosar of the Daily News, the target for the role is expected to be “an exciting, headline-grabbing hire,” though the negotiation process has been deemed “tricky.”