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Is Garciaparra Coming Home?

October 16, 2003|Bill Shaikin

NEW YORK — If the season ends in defeat tonight for the Boston Red Sox, the Dodgers and Angels might start their efforts to bring Boston's All-Star shortstop home.

As the Dodgers and Angels explore upgrades at shortstop, the contract of Nomar Garciaparra expires after next season. The five-time All-Star grew up in Southern California, and media reports from Boston suggest he might like nothing more than to play at home.

On the day before the American League championship series started, as players on both teams talked passionately about the intense rivalry between the Red Sox and New York Yankees, Garciaparra shrugged and told reporters, "I'm from L.A."

Boston owner John Henry and General Manager Theo Epstein each said Garciaparra has expressed to him an interest in remaining with the Red Sox.

"He's a franchise-type player, and deservedly so," Epstein said. "He's a really important part of our present and our future."

Henry said the Red Sox would try to negotiate an extension with Garciaparra this winter. Even if the two sides can't agree, Henry said, he cannot envision the Red Sox trading him to avoid the risk of losing him to free agency next fall.

"Trade him? I'm not the general manager, but I can't imagine that ever happening," Henry said.

-- Bill Shaikin

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