On December 21st, the Yankees announced their coaching staff for the 2022 season. The biggest addition was Dillon Lawson as the new hitting coach, but one of his assistants caught eyes as well: Eric Chavez. The former A’s slugger and Yankees backup had joined an MLB coaching staff for the first time after several years in the Angels’ organization. Manager Aaron Boone was quite pleased with the hire, and plenty of folks around the game echoed his sentiments.
Alas, Chavez’s coaching tenure in pinstripes lasted even shorter than Carlos Beltrán’s managerial stint in Queens. Instead of joining the Yankees, Chavez will become the Mets’ new hitting coach. As is standard among most MLB organizations, the Yankees allowed Chavez to interview for the job because it was an obviously higher title.
The news is a bit of a bummer because I thought that Chavez would be a good addition to the coaching staff as well, but there’s not much to be done about this situation. It wouldn’t have reflected well on the Yankees around the game to keep a strong candidate from interviewing for a better job. Remember, the Mets had only just hired Buck Showalter as their new manager when Chavez joined the Yankees. Showalter was going to have to fill out his staff, and any new manager worth his salt is going to take a hard look at respected lesser-ranked coaches around the game, even if they’re new. It happens.
While there are no guarantees because teams aren’t obligated to have two assistant hitting coaches, it seems likely that the Yankees will try to fill Chavez’s old position under Lawson alongside fellow assistant Casey Dykes. The lockout certainly seems like it will buy them some time before spring training anyway.