A's Still Flirting With Nomar

Cactus League play begins Wednesday, but the Oakland A's are still slapping together piecemeal bits of their roster. Reports have them still pursuing the intriguing possibility of bringing in six-time All-Star Nomar Garciaparra as a backup infielder.

The Atheletics are also still simultaneously pursuing ex-White Sox free agent Orlando Cabrera, but that's not expected to affect these negotiations. The club envisions Nomar serving as a backup infielder, and the asking price for a 35-year-old backup infielder would be substantially lower than a shortstop in his prime. 

Garciaparra also has a standing offer from the Philadelphia Phillies.Those Phillies just won rings, so that might weigh on Nomar's mind.

But maybe not in bad way, though -- all that talent in the Philly organization means less opportunity for an aging backup like Nomar. Ken Rosenthal speculates on FoxSports.com that Garciaparra would see significantly more at-bats playing for the A's.

Factor in also that the A's are an American League team with a designated hitter slot to offer. Old guys love playing designated hitter, 'cause than they can pretty much sit the whole game and just chill.

There's justified skepticism about Nomar's throwing arm strength, as well as his capacity to play a whole season. Or even half a season. Or even 40 games. He can't ever be an everyday player again, but he had a .326 on-base percentage last year and can fill in for anybody in the infield.

And for those of us who advocate for certain free agent signings based on the hotness of the player's wife, it should be noted that Nomar is married to Mia Hamm of the sports bra-flashing 1999 World Cup-winning U.S. Women's Soccer Team.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who does advocate for certain free agent signings based on the hotness of the player's wife.

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