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Mets 101 Seven in Seven Series: Best Bargains #5-Endy Chavez

January 25th, 2014 at 12:02 PM
By Mike Phillips

Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns in 2014 as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of something related to the New YorkMets ( i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdown on Tuesdays with the number seven and work all the way to number one. Inspired by the current free agent market, this week’s countdown looks at the best Mets signings under $1 Million since 2000. Today we continue the countdown with outfielder Endy Chavez.

5) Endy Chavez

'Endy Chavez' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Endy Chavez joined the Mets prior to the 2006 season on a one year, 600,000 dollar contract. Chavez initially made the club as a defensive replacement late in games, but received more playing time as regular left fielder Cliff Floyd struggled with injuries. Chavez had a tremendous season in 2006, hitting .306 with 108 hits and 24 stolen bases in only 353 at bats. Chavez was strongly influenced that season by manager Willie Randolph, who encouraged Chavez to focus more on making contact instead of swinging with power. The result saw Chavez's batting average skyrocket and he quickly became a trusted sub for Randolph and the Mets.

Chavez made the team's postseason roster and saw regular playing time in the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Chavez made his mark on Mets history in the top of the sixth inning of the series' seventh and deciding game. Chavez made his now famous catch, robbing St. Louis' Scott Rolen of a two run homer and having the presence of mind to throw the ball back in and double up Jim Edmonds at first base. The catch kept the game tied at one, and has since been immortalized with a plaque in Citi Field's fan walk.

Chavez played two more seasons with the Mets, where he became a fan favorite for his clutch performances. Chavez had another magical moment in April 2007, when he won a game against the Colorado Rockies with a walkoff drag bunt for a squeeze play. Chavez hit  .267 in 2007 and .287 in 2008 for the Mets, proving himself as a solid role player in the major leagues. The Mets traded Chavez away as part of a blockbuster deal that saw the Mets land closer J.J. Putz from the Seattle Mariners. Chavez has managed to carve himself out a nice career since then, bouncing around the majors but claiming jobs as a very good backup outfielder. This largely comes from his time with the Mets, which saved his career after he looked finished with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2005. Chavez just signed a minor league deal with the Mariners for the 2014 season and will go to spring training with them hoping to compete for a job.

Tags: Baseball, Endy Chavez, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Seven in Seven

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