OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Eric Chavez is already embracing his new role with the Oakland Athletics this season: backup.
The six-time Gold Glove third baseman has ordered himself a first baseman's mitt and one to play the outfield, too. He's not about to be picky about where he plays - he's just happy to be returning to the A's at all following season-ending back surgery last June.
Chavez has undergone five operations since Sept. 5, 2007, including two microdiscectomy surgeries in different spots in his back.
The 32-year-old Chavez, limited by injuries the last three years, has been taking swings for three weeks now and is eager to test his body with the daily rigors of spring training next month.
The A's acquired former Wolf Pack star Kevin Kouzmanoff in a trade last week. He's expected to be their starter at third base.