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Joseph
10-09-2006, 09:54 AM
He will not be the sexiest name on the free-agent market, glossed over because he played in a small market and is not a star. But he hit .300 in 2006, played all four infield positions and would be eager to play for the Giants under the right conditions.

You might remember him, a kid by the name of Rich Aurilia.

OK, he no longer is a kid. He is 35 and in many ways more valuable than he was in 2003 when he left the Giants after nine years as a shortstop. He split 2004 with San Diego and Seattle, then spent the past two seasons in Cincinnati, where he learned to play third, first and second base.

Coincidentally, the Giants might have openings at all three positions with the impending free agency of Pedro Feliz, Shea Hillenbrand and Ray Durham.

Aurilia and the Reds hold a $2 million mutual option for 2007, but in a phone interview from his Phoenix home Saturday he said is not sure he will exercise it. If so, he would become a free agent, with at least one eye gazing toward San Francisco.

"The Giants are definitely on my list," Aurilia said. "It's something definitely on my mind. I hope there would be interest. I'm curious to see who they will bring on to manage the team."

That remains a wide open question. General manager Brian Sabean, true to his word, is keeping his search close to the vest. Bench coach Ron Wotus is the only confirmed candidate, although Lou Piniella, Bob Brenly, Bud Black and Dave Righetti are thought to be under consideration.

Aurilia pursued a contract with the Giants last winter, but they signed Jose Vizcaino instead, partly because Aurilia would have cost them a draft pick. Vizcaino did not.

Aurilia was a fan favorite as the Giants' shortstop, but there are two stumbling blocks to a potential reunion. First, he does not fit the profile of the younger, everyday player the Giants hope to pursue for 2007. However, managing general partner Peter Magowan left some wiggle room there.

"When we say we're going to get younger and healthier, that's' on an overall basis," Magowan said. "That will not prevent us from signing a player or two that fit the exact profile we have essentially been signing the last four, five years, who are elderly, good players at the tail end of their careers, but we think can have a place on our team. It's one thing to have one or two of those guys. It's another to have seven or eight of them."

Another stumbling block: After playing 52 games at third base, 47 at first, 1o at second and 26 at shortstop, some team might offer him an everyday job at one of those positions, and that might trump an offer from the Giants to be the jack-of-all-trades they sorely lacked on the infield this season.

But Aurilia would not rule out that kind of job in a desired locale.

"Does it make it easier when you play one position? Of course," he said. "At this point in my career I take pride in playing every day. When push came to shove this year, and we needed to stay in the race, I was in there every day.

"To me, the decision might come down to where do I have a chance to win? Am I going to be happy there? Will my family be happy there? I don't have a lot of time to go, and I can't rule out the Giants because I had such a good time the last time I was there."

E-mail Henry Schulman at hschulman@sfchronicle.com.

Joseph
10-09-2006, 09:55 AM
I understand this is a report from the Chronicle and thus spun towards them, but its interesting to hear from 'our guys' when they aren't beign interviewed locally.

Reds4Life
10-09-2006, 10:13 AM
Krivsky said last night the Reds will exercise their end of the mutual option on his contract, so it will get interesting.

Ltlabner
10-09-2006, 10:15 AM
Krivsky said last night the Reds will exercise their end of the mutual option on his contract, so it will get interesting.

As much as I like RA (ducks), I hope they don't get crazy in persuing him. I'd hate to think they would get into a bidding war of sorts over him.

If he wants to test the waters, I'd say let him. If he's still available as the offseason winds down, and we don't have all the IF we'd like then do something wth him.

redsfan30
10-09-2006, 10:15 AM
Hopefully he stays here.

Joseph
10-09-2006, 11:11 AM
He produced last year at a relatively cheap price.

I can't fault him if he gets a better offer somewhere, but were I WK, I'd make the one offer and thats it. His defense wasn't spectacular and how long can a 35, going on 36 year old middle infielder be expected to produce at a competent level? If he was platooning with Hatte, fine, no problem, but at a [to steal a football term] skill position I want someone more athletic.

This teams in dire need of an overhaul defensively and I don't think you claw and fight to keep an RA when there are better defensive options out there for a defensive position.

REDREAD
10-09-2006, 11:47 AM
The Reds back is kind of against the wall though. Aurillia ended up playing SS because the Reds only other real option was Castro. I'd rather them sget someone that can field at SS better than Aurillia, but we don't have a lot of trading material, and the price for FA SS is outrageous.

I really think Hat also was exposed once he was forced to play everyday as well. If we don't resign Rich, it's also almost imperative to pick up another 1b.

Bottom line is that we have to find some way to replace Rich's production from this past year. He was a big contributor. I acknowledge that simply resigning him might not replace the production (he could decline). I'm just think that it's yet another pretty big problem Wayne needs to solve this offseason.

westofyou
10-09-2006, 12:18 PM
See ya RA, if you want to go to the BA have at it. I certainly don't want to watch him play SS or 2b for a a whole season. Nor would I like him to be a "starting" 1st baseman.

BTW there is a buyout clause on that option as well.

# buyout for 2007 option:

* $0.1M if Aurilia has 400 Plate Appearances in 2006
* $0.2M if Aurilia has 450 Plate Appearances in 2006

paulrichjr
10-09-2006, 04:05 PM
Another first round draft pick would be nice if we were to lose Aurilla.

Red Hot Mama
10-09-2006, 05:10 PM
Joel Sherman also talks about the Yankees bringing Aurilia aboard in the NY Post today. I linked to it here:
http://www.red-hot-mama.com/comments.php?id=1122_0_1_0_C

This story is all conjecture, not an interview like the SF Chronicle story, but it's still interesting to me that Richie's name is being bandied about so.

ChatterRed
10-09-2006, 06:18 PM
Sheesh, Rich.........if you're going to go elsewhere, atleast pick a team that can make the playoffs. SF is headed toward rebuilding. They ain't going nowhere next year.

SeeinRed
10-09-2006, 07:10 PM
Forget Rich. If his wife goes with him the Reds lose part of their singing group.:eek: In all seriousness though. I don't know who would replace Rich's bat in the lineup if he goes. A lot of people make a big deal of the Red's lack of offense after "the trade," but the Reds would lose a huge part of the remaining offense if Aurillia leaves. Like him or not, he flat out carried this team offensively at times this season. A bidding war isn't the way to go with him, thats for sure, but I would definately try to make a reasonable offer for him. The fact that the Giants and Yankees might be interested in him says something about the player they think he is. At times around here, I think that people lose sight of how valuable he has been to the Reds, especially after sucking it up and playing at any position he was put at when it became apparent that he wasn't the Red's starting SS last year. It takes a big man to just suck it up and go play. Yeah, he complained about it, but in the end, he did what he was asked. How many other players who played like Aurillia did in San Fran would do that. He had made quite a name for himself out there. Now look at it. It ended up making him a more valuable player, not only to the Reds, but other teams.

I think Rich needs to be given more credit for what he did do instead of being ripped for complaining about not getting playing time. I don't know why so many people have a hard time moving past that, but it stops them from seeing how valuable he was to the Reds. Besides, is it really that bad that he wanted more playing time.

Having said all of that, the key is that I want him back only if it is at a reasonable price.

ChatterRed
10-10-2006, 02:09 AM
I give RA alot of credit. He was the only one who continued to show up consistently all season. The rest of the roster packed it in. Now, I don't know if it was because he was in a contract season or not...........but he still put up good numbers.

I think he could be the leader this team is looking for. Get rid of Dunn, Junior, LaRue, and Milton.........put Aurilia and Freel in charge and see what this team can do.

RedFanAlways1966
10-10-2006, 07:58 AM
I give RA alot of credit. He was the only one who continued to show up consistently all season. The rest of the roster packed it in.

Really? You know this for a fact? Everyone player on the REDS quit trying except Rich. Okay. You must be a member of the team or perhaps you are the trainer or traveling secretary?!?

Wait... I think I know the answer. You like to make two-bit comments with no facts or substance behind them. But I cheated... I have read other posts by you here and it is not hard to figure that out. Par for the course.

dabvu2498
10-10-2006, 09:07 AM
After Rich walks, how will the Reds replace his offensive production???

2001MUgrad
10-10-2006, 01:48 PM
You think he would get $2 Mil on the market?

dabvu2498
10-10-2006, 01:53 PM
You think he would get $2 Mil on the market?

I do. From several teams.

cinredsfan2000
10-10-2006, 04:20 PM
Question for the stat heads here . Is giambi's def. that horrible that if he was to be shopped by the yankees and if he could be had for a reasonable price is he somebody that could help the Reds ? If R.A. were to leave .:confused:

George Foster
10-10-2006, 09:06 PM
Forget Rich. If his wife goes with him the Reds lose part of their singing group.:eek: In all seriousness though. I don't know who would replace Rich's bat in the lineup if he goes. A lot of people make a big deal of the Red's lack of offense after "the trade," but the Reds would lose a huge part of the remaining offense if Aurillia leaves. Like him or not, he flat out carried this team offensively at times this season. A bidding war isn't the way to go with him, thats for sure, but I would definately try to make a reasonable offer for him. The fact that the Giants and Yankees might be interested in him says something about the player they think he is. At times around here, I think that people lose sight of how valuable he has been to the Reds, especially after sucking it up and playing at any position he was put at when it became apparent that he wasn't the Red's starting SS last year. It takes a big man to just suck it up and go play. Yeah, he complained about it, but in the end, he did what he was asked. How many other players who played like Aurillia did in San Fran would do that. He had made quite a name for himself out there. Now look at it. It ended up making him a more valuable player, not only to the Reds, but other teams.

I think Rich needs to be given more credit for what he did do instead of being ripped for complaining about not getting playing time. I don't know why so many people have a hard time moving past that, but it stops them from seeing how valuable he was to the Reds. Besides, is it really that bad that he wanted more playing time.

Having said all of that, the key is that I want him back only if it is at a reasonable price.

He was the Reds MVP in my opinion. He showed up to play everyday and played hurt. Who else can you say that about on this team?

westofyou
10-10-2006, 09:12 PM
Who else can you say that about on this team?The guy who played the most games on the team the last 3 seasons?

KronoRed
10-10-2006, 10:24 PM
The guy who played the most games on the team the last 3 seasons?

Who cares about playing games, it's all about hustle.