This is from today's Cincinnati Post:
Shortly after the World Series, Aurilia and the Reds mutually agreed to decline an option for 2006 that would have paid him $2 million. If he does return to Cincinnati, it likely won't be for significantly more than that figure. Aurilia doesn't have much leverage on that front, as his time on the open market hasn't generated the kind of offers he hoped for.
Signing Aurilia at this point is a bad idea absent any discussion of contract terms. The Womack trade makes signing Aurilia make no sense. I actually would have preferred Aurilia to Womack, but that train has sailed. To give Aurilia an amount OVER the $2 million option that was rejected makes no sense. The market isn't biting on the guy. The Reds would be bidding against themselves and paying a premium for a guy who should be filling a utility role and get utility money. A part of the team's analysis needs to be a study of what it will take away from the team in terms of youth development in those positions (Olmedo, Bergolla), money for long-term deals (Dunn, Kearns, Pena, Harang, Claussen), and the chance of using a cheaper option from the marketplace or even from the minor league system (Holbert). After all, the team already has Freel, Womack, Olmedo, and Bergolla and can keep the $2 million plus Aurilia might get. I feel like this decision (along with a number of the veteran signings) is being made off of a Fleer baseball card set that is 5 or 6 years old. If the Reds dedicate $4 million or more to Aurilia and Womack this next season, there will much gnashing of teeth.