OAKLAND -- Eric Chavez's desire for a change of scenery following multiple injury-plagued years in Oakland was well-known.
How big of a change, though, not so much.
Chavez's decision on a new home, reported Friday, resulted in a surprise one. The six-time Gold Glove third baseman has agreed to a Minor League deal with the Yankees, against whom Chavez and Co. experienced the ultimate baseball heartache.
The A's went up on the Yankees, 2-0, in the American League Division Series in 2001. And the Bronx Bombers found their way to three straight wins, shutting down Oakland's playoff run. Oakland also led New York, 1-0, in the ALDS in 2000, before losing in five games.
Now, if healthy through camp, Chavez will likely be awarded the opportunity to spell Alex Rodriguez at third base and Mark Teixeira at first, with intermittent DH stints possible as well.
The 33-year-old veteran is coming off a 2010 season, his last of a six-year, $66 million contract, in which he batted .234 with one home run and 10 RBIs in 33 games for the A's. He watched each of his past four seasons end early with injuries, the most recent being neck spasms.
But Chavez has felt completely healthy all offseason and reportedly tried out for several other teams, including the Dodgers, Indians, Marlins and Blue Jays. He ranks among the top 10 in nearly every category on Oakland's career lists.