How much is one play worth? Endy Chavez might say about $1.725 million.
New York Mets outfielder Endy Chavez, who will forever be remembered for his spectacular catch in game seven of the National League Championship Series, agreed Tuesday to stay with the Mets. According to the Associated Press and ESPN.com, Chavez agreed to a one-year deal worth $1,725,000.
Most will remember Chavez for his play in the sixth inning of game seven of the NLCS. With the score tied at one, Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolan drove an Oliver Perez pitch deep to left field. Chavez ran the ball down and then leaped at the left-field wall, making one of the most memorable catches in postseason history and robbing Rolan of a certain two-run homerun. In the ninth, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina hit a two-run homerun, ironically over Chavez’s head. St. Louis won the game, the NLCS, and eventually the World Series.
Chavez saw more playing time than expected in the 2006 regular season for the Mets, mainly due to injuries suffered by outfielder Cliff Floyd. In 2006, Chavez batted .306 with four homeruns and 42 RBIs. It is being reported on WFAN 660 in New York that Chavez will battle for a starting spot in the 2007 lineup once Spring Training arrives.
According to the Associated Press and ESPN.com, Chavez could collect $100,000 in incentives during the 2007 season. The article reports that he can receive $12,500 each for 120 and 130 games, as well as $25,000 when he earns his 400th, 450th, and 500th plate appearance.
If Chavez does indeed win a spot in the starting lineup, the team will change both offensively and defensively. In 2006 the only mainstay in the outfield was centerfielder Carlos Beltran, a threat to both steal and hit the ball deep. Both right and left field had several players rotate in and out throughout the season, including Chavez, Moises Alou, and Shawn Green. Alou and Green are more known for their ability to hit the long ball, while Chavez is known for being one of the fastest players in the Major Leagues and an improvement on defense.
For the time being, the most likely scenario will be that Chavez shall remain on the bench at the beginning of the regular season. The Mets are more likely to place Lastings Milledge ahead of Chavez in the depth chart. Milledge, one of the most talked about prospects in recent Mets history, is likely to see significant playing time this coming season.
(All stats and contract information credited to the Associated Press and ESPN.com)