02/22/09 4:02 PM EST
Phillies likely to pass on free agents
Garciaparra, Beimel or Ohman could help, but money an issue
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Nomar Garciaparra, the right-handed bat that the Phillies want for their bench.
Joe Beimel and Will Ohman, just two of the left-handed relief pitchers the Phillies could use for their bullpen.
As February turns into March, it would seem the game's remaining free agents would want to sign somewhere -- anywhere -- and get back to baseball. But the Phillies, who are projected to open the season with a record $132.5 million payroll, aren't expected to make a major push for those players.
But haven't their asking prices dropped?
"If they had dropped, they would be signed," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Sunday at the Carpenter Complex. "Who knows? If they get to the point where they would take something that is extremely modest, then we'd still be in it. But they'd have to take something that's very, very modest because, frankly, we don't have any money to play with right now."
The A's are interested in Garciaparra, and Oakland certainly is much closer to his Southern California home than Philadelphia.
"We're not going to get into a bidding war with the A's," Amaro said. "He knows what our parameters would be."
Amaro wouldn't talk about the Phillies' interest or any recent talks they have had with pitchers like Beimel or Ohman, but he stressed they would need to accept a modest offer to join the team.
Amaro wouldn't say what modest means in this case, but it seems safe to say it means something less than $1 million.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.