Nomar Garciaparra, who didn't get into any spring training games because of pain in his right wrist, was placed on the 15-day disabled list by Boston.

Saturday's move is retroactive to March 22, meaning Garciaparra could be activated next Saturday, but the three-time All-Star is likely to have surgery and miss 2½-4 months.

Garciaparra, who has won the last two AL batting titles, is likely to decide within the next couple of days, Red Sox spokesman Kevin Shea said Sunday.

Garciaparra split a tendon in the wrist after he was hit by a pitch from Baltimore's Al Reyes in September 1999.

The ball caused swelling in the tendon and the canal encasing the tendon. Garciaparra played with the injury last season, even though the throwing and swinging motions required in baseball made it worse.

Also placed on the disabled list retroactive to March 22 were right-handers David Cone (right shoulder inflammation), Juan Pena (recovering from right elbow surgery) and Hipolito Pichardo (right elbow strain), and infielder John Valentin (recovering from left knee surgery).

Right-hander Bret Saberhagen, recovering from right shoulder surgery, was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 30.

Right-hander Bryce Florie, recovering from a fracture near his right eye sustained when he was hit by a line last year, was placed on the 60-day disabled list retroactive to March 31.

Boston purchased the contracts of infielder Craig Grebeck and left-hander Pete Schourek from Triple-A Pawtucket, and optioned infielders Lou Merloni and Morgan Burkhart, and right-hander Sun Woo Kim to Pawtucket.

Outfielder Mike Neill, right-hander Todd Erdos and left-hander Trever Miller were reassigned to Boston's minor league camp. -- The Associated Press

Mets prospect killed in car crash

SNEADS, Fla. -- Brian Cole, among the top prospects in the New York Mets' farm system, died when he was ejected from his SUV after it crashed in the Florida Panhandle.

Cole, 22, was not wearing a seat belt when his Ford Explorer overturned as he drove home Saturday from spring training in Port St. Lucie to Meridian, Miss., with his cousin, Ryan Cole, a Florida Highway Patrol accident report said.

Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said Cole was taking his Explorer home and was to fly Sunday to Binghamton, N.Y., to join the Mets' Double-A team for its season opener.

The one-car accident occurred on Interstate 10 near State Highway 286, just south of the Georgia border and about 45 miles northwest of Tallahassee.

Witnesses traveling behind Cole said they watched as his Explorer veered into the median and re-entered the highway, said Cpl. Ricky Warden, an FHP homicide investigator. Cole apparently struggled to regain control of the truck before it turned over.

Cole, who was single and the youngest of five children, was pronounced dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Ryan Cole, 17, was treated and released.

Warden said there was no indication that alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash and that the accident remained under investigation. -- The Associated Press.

Jeter to open season on DL