Two sources confirmed Tuesday that the A's were finalizing a one-year deal with free agent Nomar Garciaparra, who will serve as a backup corner infielder and occasionally see time at designated hitter.
Foxsports.com reported Garciaparra's deal was expected to be in the $1.5 million to $2 million range. There were still minor details to be hammered out with the six-time All-Star, and the team has yet to officially announce Cabrera's signing, either.
It's possible both players get introduced Friday.
Cabrera's agent confirmed Monday that Cabrera is set to sign a one-year, $4 million contract to become the team's new starting shortstop, supplanting Bobby Crosby.
Injuries have taken their toll on the 35-year-old Garciaparra, a two-time American League batting champion (1999 and 2000) with the Boston Red Sox.
He hasn't played a full season since 2003. Last season he was limited to 55 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers as he battled knee, calf and finger injuries.
But the right-handed hitting Garciaparra hit .339 (19-for-56) against left-handers. That will get him some at-bats, especially considering third baseman Eric Chavez is coming back from shoulder surgery.
With Garciaparra able to back up at first and third, and the fact he provides a right-handed complement to lefty hitters Chavez and first baseman Jason Giambi, his addition could mean young first baseman Daric Barton starts the season in the minor leagues.
Before Garciaparra entered the mix, the plan was for Barton to play first base when Giambi served as DH, but it seems unlikely the A's would keep all three.
Crosby's $5.25 million salary assures he'll be kept as a backup infielder. After Monday's news that Cabrera would be signed to take his position, Crosby expressed a desire to be traded.
Before Tuesday's 6-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs, he reiterated his wish but said he wouldn't demand a trade.
"I'll let them know when I talk to them that I want to be a shortstop somewhere," Crosby said. "It's not going to be me coming out demanding a trade. The ball is going to be in their court."
Second baseman Mark Ellis — speaking before the Garciaparra news surfaced — said the A's were getting a great player in Cabrera. But he also was sensitive to Crosby's status.
"It's going to be a little awkward having Cabrera in here, having Bobby in here," Ellis said. "Whether they trade Bobby or keep him here, he's going to have a big year."
Said Giambi: "(Cabrera) plays the game hard, he plays the right way. Every team he's been on that I've played against, he's a guy that really makes them go. "... It's going to be tough (for Crosby). Mentally, he's got to be a presence on this team."
Notes: A's ace Justin Duchscherer was scheduled to visit Phoenix-area specialist Dr. Doug Freedberg to get his sore right elbow examined, but manager Bob Geren didn't have any information after Tuesday's game. "... Chavez's shoulder is responding well in workouts, but the A's will give him a few more days before he plays third base in a game. "... The Cubs scored all their runs on homers Tuesday, including Alfonso Soriano's drive on the first pitch Sean Gallagher threw in the first inning.
Contact Joe Stiglich at email@example.com.