Nomar Could Make Sense For Red Sox as They Push Toward Playoffs

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Nomar Could Make Sense For Red Sox as They Push Toward Playoffs The Oakland A’s sit 19 1/2 games behind the Angels for first place in the AL West and 18 in back of the Red Sox for the wild-card lead.

Needless to say, they’re not going to be playing in October. That’s why they traded Orlando Cabrera to the Twins last week. But although the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is over, could Oakland be shopping more of its talent to contenders? Nomar Garciaparra’s name seems eerily relevant. Perhaps in Boston.

After the A’s sent Cabrera to the Twin Cities, Bobby Crosby told the San Francisco Chronicle he's unhappy about not returning to play everyday shortstop for Oakland. But with the A’s clearly looking toward the future, it only makes sense to get some of the youngsters more at-bats — youngsters that do not include the likes of Crosby (29 years old), Garciaparra (36) or Jason Giambi (39), who is set to come off the disabled list any day now.

When Giambi returns, the A’s will likely demote Tommy Everidge back to Triple-A. Or they can deal one of their aging bats via waivers and let the youngsters accumulate much-needed experience and at-bats in the big leagues. That makes more sense.

But will A’s general manager Billy Beane pull the trigger before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline? At this point, he has nothing to lose and only presumably young talent (or money by subtraction) to gain.
Garciaparra is a free agent at the end of 2009, which makes him immediately expendable for an Oakland club that has no chance in 2009 and no use for an over-the-hill star in 2010.

But for some teams, Nomar could be useful down the stretch, which makes his trade value that much more interesting. Though he’s certainly not a starter anymore, he does provide some value from the right side of the plate. Perhaps a National League contender could use him as a pinch-hitter off the bench.

Or maybe the Red Sox could find some use for their rusty old superstar, who’s batting .269 in a pitcher’s park by the bay.

Currently, Nick Green and Rocco Baldelli are the only right-handed bats coming consistently off the Red Sox’ bench. And with Jason Bay and J.D. Drew banged up, Baldelli could be less of a bench player in the near future. There might have been more of a need for a righty batter in Boston before the Sox acquired switch-hitting Victor Martinez on Friday. Now, either Mike Lowell or Jason Varitek (who bats much better from the right side) will often come off the bench to make room for Martinez’s bat in the lineup.

Still, with Josh Reddick on the current 25-man roster, the Sox could make room for Garciaparra, should they want him. The 22-year-old Reddick had an impressive weekend in Baltimore, going 4-for-11 with his first career home run, but unless Bay or Drew is hurt worse than anyone knows, Reddick isn’t going to find enough at-bats to continue his needed maturity through the Sox’ system.

Garciaparra’s player development days are done. Perhaps there’s room here for the return of No. 5 (though Baldelli currently wears that jersey).

Could cries of “Nomahh!” echo through Yawkey Way once more? We’ll have to wait and see.

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