Garciaparra no longer an option; Victorino in WBC; Eaton reaction
UPDATE: 1:45 p.m.
One more note from this morning -- general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Nomar Garciaparra is no longer an option for the Phillies.
It is the Phillies' belief that Garciaparra has narrowed his options to either the Oakland Athletics or retirement.
"I would not view him as someone who will be with us," Amaro said.
The Phillies aren't likely to sign any more free agents before the start of the regular season.
First, some news from the morning.
Righthander Chad Durbin has a strained right hamstring and will not pitch today, although general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the injury is a minor one and that he could be back on the field within a couple of days.
Also, Shane Victorino will replace Grady Sizemore on the United States' entrant into the World Baseball Classic. Victorino wasn't on the final roster when it was announced earlier this week, but Sizemore has withdrawn, opening up a spot for the Phillies' center fielder. Victorino spoke by phone with USA manager Davey Johnson this morning. After Johnson assured him that he would get enough at-bats to be ready for the season, Victorino accepted the invitation.
"They are only keeping our outfielders, so you are going to get at-bats," Victorino said. "That was my biggest question to Davey: am I going to get enough at-bats?"
The decision to release Adam Eaton this morning rather than hope for a team to bite on a trade later in spring training came partly as a result of a desire to get the pitchers in camp enough work. The Phillies figured that the odds of a team agreeing to a trade and assuming a portion of Eaton's salary were slim enough that it wasn't worth the chance that he might pitch well enough in spring to encourage a team to take a chance on him.
The Phillies also figured Eaton would have a better chance at getting picked up by another team if they released him earlier in the spring.
"That definitely had something to do with it," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I figured it is better for us to let him go now and give him a chance to hook up with someone else."
The Phillies are responsible for Eaton's $8.65 million salary this season as well as a $500,000 buy-out of a mutual option for next year. If he makes an Opening Day roster, his new club will be responsible only for the salary for which they sign him, likely the $400,000 minimum for veterans.