Clearwater Countdown: No-Mar the Answer?

There might be snow on the ground but the smell of spring is in the air.

That's right Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater in just 10 days and in honor of the start of Spring Training will be doing our top-10 countdown of issues to be settled before Opening Day.

No. 10:

The Phillies are trying to repeat as World Series champs and to do so they have tagged adding a right-handed swinging reserve player as a must. Well, we are less than two weeks out of Spring Training yet there still is no righty sitting on the proverbial pine.

Former All-Star Nomar Garciaparra remains to be the Phillies top choice to add some right-handed power to the Phils, according to Todd Zolecki at But, No-Mar can't seem to make up his mind if he even wants to continue to play baseball.

No-Mar would fit nicely because with his recent injury history he can't be expecting to be an everyday guy (something the Phils don't need). He also can serve as a security blanket at third base should starter Pedro Feliz continue to have back problems.

But, this waiting game with No-Mar is becoming a pain in the area below the back.

No-Mar may be the Phils top choice but their second choice, Ty Wigginton, is now off the market and the rest of the market is growing Moises Alou-thin.

So what do the Phillies do in the meantime?

They right now have a very left-hand-oriented bench with Gregg Dobbs, Geoff Jenkins and Matt Stairs all under contract.

Should they eventually sign No-Mar or another veteran than they would need to move either Jenkins or, more likely, Stairs to make room. The move would sway the bench back to a more traditional right-handed reserve.

The Phils could also try to add a righty by plucking top prospect Jason Donald from the farm. Donald is going to try it out at third during Spring Training and could wind up being just what the Phillies are looking for if they don't worry about not having him play full time.

For now the question remains: Is No-Mar going to say No-More?

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