Eric Chavez on the DL with neck spasms; career at risk?

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Eric Chavez headshot.jpgIt was only a matter of when. The oft-injured Eric Chavez was placed on
the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with neck spasms, according
to a team press release
.

According to Susan Slusser of the
San Francisco Chronicle, Chavez said an MRI revealed a bulging disc in
his neck
. The injury apparently stems from a collision with a
teammate during a drill in spring training. He has tried to play through
the pain with the help of traction treatment, but as his .234/.276/.333
batting line indicates, he’s done more harm than good at the plate.

With
Coco Crisp finally off the disabled list, Jack Cust figured to take
over as the regular designated hitter, anyway. Cust is batting .333
(7-for-21) with two RBI since being called up from the minors last
Saturday.

Chavez, 32, has talked about retirement many
times
before and even
acknowledged to Slusser on Saturday
that this
could be it.

“I hadn’t thought about it, other than
my goal for the year was not to
be back on the DL. … But it could be. I don’t know.”

Chavez
is currently in the final year of a six-year, $66 million contract. The
Athletics will have to cut him a $3 million check to buy out his $12.5
million option for next season. Not a bad going away present.