Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Eric Chavez could retire at the end of the 2014 season as injuries limit his ability to contribute on the field, reports Steve Gilbert of MLB.com.
Chavez, 36, has been battling knee issues since being sidelined during spring training. After being placed on the 15-day disabled list three weeks ago, the Diamondbacks transferred him to the 60-day disabled list on Sunday. Now, it’s possible Chavez could end up missing the remainder of the season, and he’s wondering if this is the end of the road:
“I’m just so close to the end, you know, where I’ve got to worry about feeling good for the rest of my life,” Chavez said. “So surgery would be the worst-case scenario for me to kind of be going down that line.”
Since being drafted by the Oakland A’s in the first round of the 1996 draft, Chavez has spent most of his life on big league rosters. However, after emerging as one of the game’s best young players in the early 2000s, Chavez battled injuries throughout the middle portion of his career.
Now a fraction of the player who won six consecutive Gold Gloves and earned MVP votes in four straight seasons, Chavez still remains effective as a platoon reserve with some pop. In 81 plate appearances this season, he batted .246/.346/.449 with three home runs.
Still, he admitted that retirement is a consideration given his issues with staying healthy.
“It’s a possibility,” he said. “I’m never going to say never. For some reason I have this personal rule that when guys retire you’ve got to be away from the game for two years before you officially say you retired. Because there’s too many that come back.”
If Chavez does call it quits, he’ll retire with quite the career under his belt. Over 17 seasons, Chavez has batted .268/.342/.475 with 260 home runs and 902 RBI. Beyond his six Gold Gloves, he also won the 2002 Silver Slugger for third basemen and led the AL in walks in 2004.