Tracy with the Washington Nationals during 2012 spring training
|Third baseman / First baseman|
|Born: May 22, 1980|
Charlotte, North Carolina
|MLB: April 21, 2004, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
|NPB: April 12, 2011, for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp|
|NPB: June 5, 2011, for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp|
|MLB: September 28, 2013, for the Washington Nationals|
|Runs batted in||358|
|Runs batted in||19|
Chad Austin Tracy (born May 22, 1980) is an American former professional baseball third baseman. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 2004 to 2010 and again from 2012 to 2013 for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins, and Washington Nationals. He also played for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).
Tracy compiled a .339 batting average during his career at East Carolina University. In 2000, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Orleans Cardinals of the Cape Cod Baseball League. He was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the seventh round of the 2001 Major League Baseball draft.
He played third base in El Paso, Texas, for the El Paso Diablos. In four minor league seasons, Tracy hit .335 with 24 home runs, 85 doubles, and 206 RBIs in 337 games. In 2002, he was selected to participate in the Futures Game during the All-Star break as the starting third baseman on the U.S. squad.
Tracy made his major league debut with Arizona in 2004. He finished his rookie season with a .285 average, eight home runs, 53 RBIs, and a .343 on-base percentage in 143 games. He led NL third basemen with 25 errors, and he had a major-league-low .935 fielding percentage at third.
Tracy's numbers dipped in the 2006 season. He batted .281 with 20 homers and 80 RBIs. His slugging percentage went down over 100 points from his 2005 total, going from .553 to .451. His 129 strikeouts went up as they nearly doubled his 2005 total. He also tied Edwin Encarnación for the major league lead in errors by a third baseman, with 25, as he again had a .935 fielding percentage at third base.
In 2008, he had his lowest on-base percentage (.308) and slugging percentage (.414) of his major league career, as he batted .267. He again batted .222 with 2 out and runners in scoring position.
On May 6, 2009, Tracy (who was batting .224) was taken out of the starting lineup, replaced by Josh Whitesell, who was called up to the Diamondbacks after hitting .356 for the Reno Aces with a .477 on-base percentage (2nd in the Pacific Coast League) and a .552 slugging percentage. Manager Bob Melvin said Whitesell would get a chance to play every day, and that Tracy "is going to pinch hit, (and) he's going to fill in at third and first for a while." That did not last long, however, as on May 19, not even two weeks later, Melvin had been fired as manager and the team optioned Whitesell back to Reno.
Obviously, I want the playing time, I want to be out there every day. Right now, there are a lot of question marks, especially for me, and some of the other guys that are on their last year of their contract or have some value to be traded, so I think we're probably at that point now where anything can happen. I wouldn't be surprised by anything.
Manager AJ Hinch spoke with Tracy, who was batting a career-low .222 with a .288 on-base percentage at the time, and Whitesell on July 17. He told them that Whitesell would get the bulk of the action at first base, starting four or five times a week "for the time being". After the 2009 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks did not pick up Tracy's 2010 option, which permitted Tracy to file for free agency.
On January 26, 2010, Tracy signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs with an invite to spring training. The deal was announced on January 27, 2010. On March 29, the Cubs announced that Tracy had made the major league Cubs' 25 man roster. On May 7, Tracy was sent down to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs to make room for Starlin Castro. Tracy was designated for assignment by the Cubs. Tracy was released by the Cubs on July 1, 2010.
Chad Tracy signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals in the spring of 2012. He showed enough improvement at the plate during spring training to make the club's opening day roster. He was made a member of the Nationals' bench, where he was a productive left-handed bat. In two seasons, he hit .269 in 2012 but declined to just .202 in 2013, his final season for the Nationals.
In 2007, Tracy married Katie Martin. They have four daughters: Ella, Brynn, Leah, and Ruthie. He now owns a Baseball/Softball facility known as Ultimate Performance Sports.