The Oakland Athletics have started preparing for the 2011 season, as per usual with GM Billy Beane.

Third baseman Eric Chavez, who has been riddled with injuries over the last three years, has finally been released. He looks to start fresh with another team, but realizes he is a 12-year veteran.

Susan Slusser, writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, published this telling quote from Chavez:

“If things had been different, I would have wanted to stay in Oakland my whole career,” the six-time Gold Glove third baseman said. “I’ve had therapy, I’ve had treatment, I’ve had surgeries. The only thing left is to change scenery. … To go back to Oakland, even with the direction they’re going, I’m not even sure there would be a spot open.”

Ellis added that Oakland will miss him.

As Oakland prepares for another season, players and staff alike are thrilled about the second-place finish in the AL west. Closer Andrew Bailey has been rehabbing an injured shoulder that he suffered in September and looks to resume his closer role once play resumes.

Additionally, Rickey Henderson has decided to work with young outfielder Chris Carter on his defensive play. I think Rickey should also leak a few secrets about base-running. He’s only the all-time leader in stolen bases and runs scored. No biggie.

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