I've had a rough week on baseball analysis....but here's my view (like it matters)
Aurilia could sign by Sunday deadline
Rich Aurilia apparently will return to the Reds after all.
Aurilia's agent, Barry Axelrod, sounded optimistic Tuesday.
"I think the Reds are our most viable alternative," Axelrod said. "We've talked to some other clubs, but those have been contingent discussions."
TRANSLATION - 'There aren't any other teams that want us," Axelrod said. We've made up some numbers to give to O'Brien and he's suckered in to us."
The sides have a Sunday deadline hanging over them. If they can't work out a deal by then, Aurilia can't re-sign with the Reds until May 1.
"Both sides are trying to get it done," Reds general manager Dan O'Brien said.
Dear Dan - Please check your roster for other infielders, Sincerely, RedsFans
Aurilia, 34, hit .282 with 14 home runs and 68 RBI in 114 games with the Reds last season. He led the club with a .343 average with runners in scoring position.
As much as I dislike Rich, these stats from last year were better than expected. So, expect half the production next year with the extra-value meal sized ego.
Both sides declined to exercise the option on Aurilia's contract. The Reds then offered Aurilia arbitration. He refused it Dec. 19, thereby extending to Jan. 8 the deadline to sign him
Aurilia's defensive flexibility - he can play shortstop, second base or third base - would give the Reds many options.
His flexibility is on paper only. His mind has him as an All-Star caliber SS
Aurilia's role is his main concern, and he has talked to Reds manager Jerry Narron about that.
"Jerry has talked to Rich," O'Brien said. "I don't want to speak for Jerry, but he outlined the way he intends to use the roster. It was a good conversation."
Aurilia would add to the crowd at second base. Ryan Freel and Tony Womack are already set to compete for time there.
But Aurilia also gives the Reds insurance at third. Edwin Encarnacion, 22, is slated to start there. If Encarnacion were to struggle, Aurilia could take over.
I'm in favor of EdE struggling. It seemed like to me at times in September, EdE made good progress. We GOT to find out what he can do. 2006 seems to that year. Signing Rich Aurilia isn't, nor will it be, the answer.