Eric Chavez: Oakland Athletics
Option: $12.5M Buyout: $3M
The Eric Chavez contract has been one of the most disappointing in Oakland Athletics history and a big reason why many around baseball have been proclaiming the death of Beane as a brilliant general manager. After posting 3.6 WAR in 2006, injuries turned Chavez into a shell of his former self, as he has posted a total of 0.3 WAR since. As R.J. covered last year, it’s unfair to blame Beane for this effectively unforeseeable turn of events. Last season, the Athletics went into the year with the idea of using Chavez as a DH, with the hopes that he could at least remain in the lineup, but that proved fruitless. Chavez posted a .234/.276/.333 line in 123 plate appearances and recorded five innings in the field, all at first base. That line comes out to -0.4 WAR, and there’s no indication from his performance or durability in the past four years that suggests much better. Eric Chavez’s certainly won’t return to Oakland and his career is likely over. Although he was fantastic from 2001-2006, he may be (unfairly) remembered more as a mistake contract than a great MLB player.
Bill Hall: Boston Red Sox
Option: $9.25M Buyout: $0.25M
After disappointing seasons in 2008 and 2009 with Milwaukee and Seattle, Hall bounced back as a super-utility man with the Boston Red Sox. Hall showcased strong pull power during his best years in Milwaukee and that resurfaced in 2010, as he socked 16 doubles and 18 homers in his 382 plate appearances as a Red Sox member. But he still hasn’t found a positional home, as he played every position except for 1B and C (yes, he pitched an inning). Although he was decent in center field for a year with Milwaukee, he was at his best on the left side of the infield, where he showcased a plus glove at both shortstop and third base. If he can maintain the bat he showed this year, he could be a valuable player at those positions, but he’s guaranteed to strike out a ton and therefore needs to hit for power to be productive. He’s too high variance of a player for Boston to pick up his option, but Hall deserves a multi-million dollar deal, and he probably deserves the chance to compete for a starting job somewhere around the league.