Tuesday Inbox: Release Chavez?

Because the busy season doesn’t allow for a weekly Inbox appearance on the A’s site, I’ve decided to start taking time on a regular basis to answer one or two of your questions regarding all things green and gold right here. Dozens of questions about the A’s fill my mailbox each week, so make sure you stop by often to see if yours is one of the chosen. If it’s not, it’s probably because of one of the following reasons:

  • You want to know about the “stadium issue,” as it is usually referred to in most of the e-mails I get. I assure you that, at the moment, there are no updates on a potential new A’s stadium. When I hear of anything, I’ll let ya know.
  •  Your only goal is to get me to join you in bashing a player whom you think Billy Beane should rid of ASAP. Sorry, folks. You’re on your own.
  • You’re asking about an injury update or other news tidbit of which I’ve already addressed in a story on the A’s site. Basically, if I’ve already answered the question somewhere else, chances are you won’t find it here. 

Otherwise, have at it. And please feel free to pass along any non-baseball but, rather, human interest-type questions you may have regarding Daric Barton’s favorite food or Kurt Suzuki’s biggest pet peeve. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll do my best to find it. Onto the Inbox, May 25 edition:

Do you think the A’s might release Eric Chavez at some point this season, as they did last year with Jason Giambi? I don’t see him playing again.
Vernon S., Piedmont, Calif.

I have to admit that I considered this same scenario the day Eric was sent to the DL, but after thinking it over I quickly realized that the chances of the club releasing him are very slim. Eric has represented the epitome of a team player from day one. He’s made the commitment to himself and the team to recover from injuries that would have easily sent most players into retirement, and he’s also played hurt without any fuss. It’s easy to assume he’s spent his final days on the field, but Eric says he’s not done. He clarified this week via text that he plans on playing again, “if and when” he’s healthy. Eric has done everything his body has been willing to allow him to do in an effort to uphold his $66 million contract. He’s a franchise player, not to mention one who has a strong relationship with Mr. Beane, so the only way Eric is released is if he asks to be. But don’t go holding your breath on that one. I think that by being back on the field again this year and surrounding himself with his teammates again made Eric truly realize how much he loves the game and this club, and how he’s not going to let injuries take away his career that easily. He’s truly dedicated to helping this team win, so we can only hope his body gives him the chance to do so. Cutting him would prove costly, much more so than it did with Giambi last summer. So even though his production was down upon the time of his DL move and his body has turned mightily fragile, I don’t see the A’s releasing him.

To submit your Inbox question, please follow this link. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for timely A’s updates. I’m not with the team in Baltimore for the next three days, but I’ll be back on the beat in Detroit when the club starts a four-game set Friday

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