CHICAGO -- Nomar Garciaparra filed for free agency Friday,
starting the bidding process for the All-Star shortstop.
Garciaparra has said he'd consider returning to Chicago, and
general manager Jim Hendry already has spoken with his agent, Arn
Tellem. But Garciaparra also wants to test the free-agent market
for the first time in his career.
Until he was traded to the Cubs on July 31 as part of a
four-team trade, Garciaparra had spent his entire career -- 8½ years
-- with the Boston Red Sox.
"I'm going to experience something I never experienced in the
offseason," Garciaparra said on the last day of the season. "Like
I said, this is one of the places I'll consider. No question."
But there likely will be plenty of other suitors for the
five-time All-Star and two-time AL batting champion. Though
Garciaparra was slowed by injuries to his Achilles tendon, left
wrist and groin -- he played only 81 games -- he hit .308 with nine
homers and 41 RBI for the Red Sox and Cubs.
Garciaparra hit .321 in 38 games with Boston and .297 in 43
games with the Cubs. He has a career .322 average with 182 homers
and 710 RBI.
Bako is solid behind the plate and he was Greg Maddux's personal
catcher all season, but he only hit .203. Goodwin hit .200 while
Grieve hit .250 with one homer in 15 games with Chicago after being
acquired from Milwaukee on Aug. 31.