The Mets are beating the Yankees this offseason, at least when it comes to hiring hitting coaches. In December, the Yankees announced that former A's slugger Eric Chavez was joining the club as an assistant hitting coach. On Thursday, however, MLB.com reported that Chavez will actually join the other New York team, the Mets, as their hitting coach.
Chavez, 44, spent parts of 17 seasons in the big leagues, hitting .268/.342/.475 with 1,477 hits, including 260 homers. He grew up in San Diego and then played the first 13 years of his career in Oakland, but he then played for the Yankees for two years.
Since his playing career, Chavez has served as a special assistant to both the Yankees and the Angels. The connection here isn't tough to figure. New Mets general manager Billy Eppler was with the Yankees when Chavez was and then was the Angels' general manager when Chavez was there as well. As such, there seems to be a good relationship between the two.
The Mets fired hitting coach Chili Davis during last season, one in which they finished in the bottom third of the National League in pretty much every category that meant anything. They were 13th in runs, 10th in batting average, 10th in on-base percentage and 12th in slugging percentage.
Chavez is joining new Mets manager Buck Showalter's staff, which also reportedly is set to include Joey Cora as third base coach. The Yankees, for what it's worth, hired former Mets manager Luis Rojas as their third base coach earlier in the offseason.