No more Nomar? Plus, pitching rotations

The Phillies are still hopeful that Nomar Garciaparra will decide to play baseball, and that he will decide to play baseball for them. But they aren't as optimistic about the situation as they were earlier in the offseason, especially now that the Athletics have emerged as a potentially-serious suitor for Garciaparra. Oakland could likely guarantee more at-bats to Garciaparra and would appear to have more payroll flexibility than the Phillies, who right now are prepared to enter the season with their current roster unless a capable veteran like Garciaparra trades in some dollars for the chance to contribute to a serious World Series contender.

Aside from Garciaparra, there aren't many options out there on the free agent market. Former Kansas City infielder Mark Grudzielanek would be a nice fit, but he made $4.5 million last season and has been an every day player since his first full big league season 13 years ago. Ray Durham is a similar case.

Unless the names Damion Easley and Jay Payton excite you, there aren't many other available right-handers.

Then again, maybe Manny Ramirez would settle for a one-year deal at the veteran minimum.


Here are the pitching rotations for the first set of Grapefruit League games:

Wednesday, Feb. 25 at Pittsburgh: Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, Joe Bisenius Scott Nestor, Joe Borkowski, Mike Koplove, Jake Woods.

Thursday, Feb. 26 vs. Toronto: Carlos Carrasco, J.A. Happ, Justin Lehr, Gary Majewski, Blaine Neal, Yorman Bazardo

Friday, Feb. 27 at Cincinnati: Andrew Carpenter, Antonio Bastardo, Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero, Sergio Escalona

Saturday, Feb. 28, vs. Tampa Bay: Kyle Kendrick, Drew Naylor, Adam Eaton, Clay Condrey, Scott Eyre, Brad Lidge

Sunday, March 1, at Atlanta: Brett Myers, Chan Ho Park, Scott Nestor, Joe Borkowski

Monday, March 2, at Toronto (Morning game): Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, Gary Majewskik, J.C. Romero, Sergio Escalona, Clay Condrey

Monday, March 2, at Toronto (Afternoon game): J.A. Happ, Carlos Carrasco, Mike Koplove, Pat Woods, Yorman Bazardo, Joe Bisenius.