Susan Slusser has an extensive article, including an interview,with Eric Chavez.
He has just gotten terrible news that he has a herniated disk in his back. He is still hoping to strengthen himself enough to be able to play, but anything -- playing, carrying a suitcase, getting up from a chair -- could cause it to go even worse. He said in the article that he knew he'd eventually have to get surgery to fuse the disk, which would make athletic activity impossible. However, he thought he had about 10-15 years before needing to do the surgery. Now with this latest news he knows that time is sooner.
I loved watching Eric at third base! But it seems to me that it is not worth the risk to his health beyond baseball to try to come back this year and play third base under this cloud.
Slusser also speculates on the free agent third basemen who will be on the market after this offseason, such as Figgins and Beltre.
It's time, Eric.
Update 5/19/09: Rotoworld is reporting that the A's have transferred Chavez to the 60 Day DL. Not confirmed yet on the A's site, but hardly surprising. They'll likely put Eric's best buddy Eric Munson on the 40 man roster in order to bring him up to be the backup catcher...as we know Powell hurt his hamstring yesterday so is likely going on the DL. More updates: the A's website is now confirming that Chavez was moved to the 60 day DL. Slusser writes on Tuesday around 1:20 PM Pacific Time that she's surprised about Chavez being moved to the 60 day DL, as he had thought he could be ready to play by the end of May -- this pushes his return (if that happens) to late June.