PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Endy Chavez, who made one of the most memorable catches in Mets history, has rejoined the organization as a minor-league coach.
Chavez will be on the staff of short-season Class A Brooklyn, which will begin its season in June. He also will work on the minor-league side of the Mets’ First Data Field complex during spring training.
This is Chavez’s fourth stint with the Mets. The first was 1996-2000, when he signed out of Venezuela and played in the lower minors until the Royals picked him in the Rule 5 draft. He was a Met for three weeks in February 2002 before being lost on waivers and was on the major-league Mets from 2006-08, including Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. That’s when Chavez robbed St. Louis’ Scott Rolen of a home run to leftfield, with his outstretched right arm reaching over an ad that read, “The strength to be there.”
Now Chavez, 41, is back, seemingly done as a player after 21 pro seasons. He hasn’t been in the majors since 2014, but he played for the Somerset (New Jersey) Patriots of the independent Atlantic League last summer and then hit .328 in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Chavez’s brother, Ender Chavez, has been a coach in the Mets’ system since 2012 and will be with Double-A Binghamton this season.
Notes & quotes: Jeff McNeil on prospect Peter Alonso, who is competing for the first-base job: “When he’s hot, he’s one of the best hitters I’ve ever seen. He’s one of the hardest-working guys I’ve ever played with, so it’s going to be good to have him around. He’s always taking early ground balls. He’s always in the cage. He truly wants to get better. He knows that’s the one thing he needs to work on, that infield ‘D’. So I’m excited to see what he’s worked on this offseason and how much better he looks.” . . . Tim Tebow is expected to arrive at Mets camp Friday, one day before position players need to report, to begin year three of his pro baseball career. He is slated to open the year with Triple-A Syracuse.