What’s really going on with Eric Chavez these days? One minute the former six-time Gold Glove winner is saying that he feels fine and ready to go, and the next minute he’s saying that his back is tightening up on him. By popular opinion, many A’s fans feel that the longest tenured player in franchise history should just hang up the cleats. I had still had some hope about two or three weeks ago about a possible return from Chavez, but I’m slowly getting fed up with all this will-he/won’t-he play stuff.
Chavez, who was supposed to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento a few weeks ago, has not made the headlines lately. In fact, it’s a little too quiet. It’s actually starting to look like the whole Jason Giambi debacle of last season. Giambi, who was overused by Bob Geren, suffered an injury but eventually recovered. Despite his recovery, however, the A’s never activated Giambi from the DL, and eventually released him mid-way through the season.
I would say that the A’s are trying to quietly push Chavez towards retirement. They obviously would not treat Chavez in the same manner they did Giambi, but they probably feel that Chavez’s playing days are long over. Billy Beane, who constantly says that he does not let personal relationships get in the way of business, obviously has a soft spot for Chavez. If Chavez weren’t making $12 million this season, he would’ve been gone a long, long time ago.
But for now, Chavez continues to rehab in Arizona—while collecting his paychecks.