Orlando Cabrera (unofficially) arrives at A’s camp

It’s a weird scene this morning at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, where shortstop Orlando Cabrera was in the trainer’s room getting his physical, but the A’s still aren’t confirming his signing yet. Passing the physical is often the last hurdle before a free agent announcement, but word is that the A’s may not announce anything until tomorrow, when they’re likely to combine it w/the signing of Nomar Garciaparra. We actually got a chance to speak briefly with Cabrera, the Athletic who’s not quite an Athletic yet.

Cabrera said he and his wife had just completed the 33-hour drive from Myrtle Beach, S.C., with only a couple of stops on the way. Asked his thoughts about going the whole offseason and part of spring training without being signed, Cabrera said: “Strange market, I guess. I don’t know. I’m just happy to start playing baseball.”

I don’t even know how much he’s gotten a chance to talk to his new teammates. Then again, I guess they’re not really his teammates yet, are they?

Other developments …’

–Justin Duchscherer is flying to Southern California today to get his elbow checked by Dr. Lewis Yocum. The original plan was for Duchscherer’s MRI images to be sent to Yocum, but now he’s getting checked in person this afternoon. Hopefully I’ll know more later on.

–Turns out the Giants granted the A’s request to use a DH at today’s split-squad game in Scottsdale. So Mark Ellis is the starting DH in that game. Most of the regulars are playing there, with another squad taking on Team South Africa at Phoenix Muni. Trevor Cahill starts against the Giants, Dallas Braden goes against South Africa.

–Eric Chavez told me his throwing continues to go well, and that he’s eyeing Monday as a potential day to play third base in a game for the first time.

–Daric Barton felt some tightness in his quadriceps after playing defense for the first time yesterday, and Geren said he’ll be out “a few days.” Apparently this doesn’t have anything to do w/the hip surgery he’s coming back from. But it’s not ideal for a guy who probably needs to play his way into a roster spot now that Garciaparra is in the fold.

Joe Stiglich