Mets' ace likely won't start opener

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Forget Opening Day, Johan Santana 's tender elbow might keep the Mets' ace from making his first start until the second series of the season.

Santana has yet to pitch in a spring training game for New York, which lost 15-4 to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, and pitching coach Dan Warthen indicated the left-hander's schedule would put him on track to start the Mets' fifth game.

BONDS: Major League Baseball's home run king Barry Bonds is open to making a comeback. Whether any team wants him is the tricky part.

Now that Bonds' federal trial has been delayed at least until July, his agent plans to contact all 30 clubs once again to determine whether there's a place for the slugger.

"I'm still not optimistic," agent Jeff Borris said.

ATHLETICS: Nomar Garciaparra has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Oakland, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle .

Garciaparra was limited to 55 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season because of injuries. He hit .264 with eight homers and 28 RBI.

RED SOX: Pitcher Brad Penny was scratched from his first scheduled spring training start because of shoulder weakness, and right fielder J.D. Drew went to Boston for an injection in his lower back.

Penny was to have started Thursday against Puerto Rico. He stopped a bullpen session Sunday after 25 pitches.

Manager Terry Francona said Drew flew to Boston on Sunday, received the injection Monday and was back in Fort Myers, Fla., by Tuesday.

BREWERS: Agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Yovani Gallardo , the last unsigned player on their 40-man roster.

He struck out five and allowed one hit over two innings in an 8-6 win over Colorado on Tuesday.

- Right-hander Braden Looper will miss his second consecutive spring training start because of a strained oblique muscle and might not be ready for Opening Day.

Brewers manager Ken Macha said Looper will not be allowed to throw for the next 10 to 12 days and might not heal in time for the April 7 opener.


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