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Hmmm, the “Eric Chavez is coming back” stories are early this year . . .

San Francisco Giants v Oakland Athletics

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 21: Eric Chavez #3 of the Oakland Athletics being worked on by Dr. Alan Chung the clubhouse prior to game against the San Francisco Giants at the Oakland Coliseum on May 21, 2010 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Giants 6-1. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)

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This is not a repeat from last year. Or the year before. Or the year before that. Or really any year after 2006:

[Chavez’s agent says] Chavez is handling “pretty strenuous workouts’’ five days a week at Athletes Performance in Arizona just fine and “from our perspective, is completely healthy . . . Eric’s looking for the right opportunity, at the right time but his hope and desire is to be playing next season.”

I guess you could give him a non-roster invite, play him for nine innings in every single spring training game from the time they begin until the end of March, and then, if he hasn’t ‘asploded yet, maybe offer him a bench job. But really, I think everyone has been around this block enough times to where even that is pushing it a bit.