The Yankees have signed lifelong Athletic Eric Chavez and one-time All-Star Ronnie Belliard to minor league deals, per LoHud.
After peaking as the best third baseman in the American League in 2002, the injury-plagued Chavez enjoyed two more elite seasons before beginning his descent into mediocrity starting in 2005. Chavez hasn't appeared in more than 90 games since 2007, a season in which he managed a .322 wOBA and was worth 1.1 WAR. Since then he's essentially been a non-entity, and the primary memory I have of Eric of recent vintage is his breaking up Phil Hughes' no-hit bid in his second start of 2010 in Oakland.
Ronnie Belliard's had a fairly well-traveled career, and actually wOBAed .369 for the Nats in 96 games in 2008 -- more success than Chavez has had recently -- but was pretty wretched for the Dodgers last seasons, managing a pathetic .276 wOBA in 82 games.
Since you're here you're undoubtedly interested in their projections. Oliver thinks Chavez will wOBA .297 over 239 PAs, and be a detriment to the team, at -0.5 WAR. Oliver's slightly kinder to Belliard, projecting the infielder at a .312 wOBA over 378 PAs, worth 0.0 WAR. Marcel basically agrees, giving Chavez a .289 wOBA and Belliard a .319.
We also didn't get a chance to weigh in on Wednesday's Justin Maxwell-Adam Olbrychowski trade, although as others have noted, Maxwell's best-case scenario would essentially be serving as a more patient Greg Golson. Bill James oddly has Maxwell at a .336 wOBA over 144 PAs, Marcel .317 over 276 PAs and Oliver a Major League Equivalent .321 wOBA across 471 PAs. Those are actually decently respectable wOBA projections for a 5th outfielder, so perhaps Maxwell ends up playing some sort of small role on the 2011 squad.
Getting back to Chavez and Belliard, while I wouldn't expect either of these guys to produce anything, once again there's nothing wrong with shopping in the bargain bin on the chance something seemingly past its expiration date turns into a WAR surprise. Chavez is probably history, but Belliard could potentially be a serviceable backup infielder -- at the very least he should represent an upgrade over Ramiro Pena and his appalling .236 2010 wOBA.