Rich Aurilia Rumors
5:19 pm: Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Aurilia is thinking over the Giants' offer.
In a phone interview, Aurilia acknowledged that many players are settling for minor league offers. "It's something we're mulling over," he said. "We're trying to counter-proposal them a little bit and see what we can come up with."
Aurilia thinks he would be a valuable addition to a young infield like the Giants' and said that he was "hoping to nail this down."
4:39 In an update to his blog, the San Jose Mercury News' Andrew Baggarly reports that the San Francisco Giants have made an offer to Rich Aurilia.
The offer is a non-guaranteed, minor-league contract that would pay Aurilia $1MM if he were to make the major league team, with some additional incentives as well.
Baggarly says the Phillies are in on Aurilia as well, but Baggarly says Brian Sabean isn't sure of the extent of the Phillies' interest.
Baggarly also writes that Aurilia is interested in a return to the Giants.
Kevin Roberts of the Philadelphia Inquirer has a few Phillies rumors:
- GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says it's "very likely" the Phillies will not make any more additions.
- The Phillies have inquired on "almost every righthanded bat on the market." They've considerd Rich Aurilia, Nomar Garciaparra, Moises Alou and Mark Grudzielanek.
- Amaro's targeting Nomar.
- Roberts agrees with Jon Heyman that the Phillies gave Andruw Jones a "tepid look."
- However, they're in no hurry to bring in a righty bench bat and could take their time adding one.
- The $4MM gap between the Phillies' arbitration offer to Ryan Howard and his demand will influence how much the Phillies can spend. Amaro called Howard's case "the elephant in the middle of the room."
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, first baseman Kevin Millar is "almost certain" to sign a minor league deal with the Blue Jays today or tomorrow. The Mets, Yankees, Nationals, and Rangers had also been in on Millar. Rich Aurilia has been recommended for the Mets by several writers, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post learned they've yet to make contact with his agent.
Millar, 37, hit .234/.323/.394 in 610 plate appearances last year.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick spoke to Rich Aurilia's agent Barry Axelrod, who said the Orioles' Ty Wigginton signing might move things along for his client. The Giants and Phillies had been interested in Wiggy and maintain interest in Aurilia. Ken Davidoff of Newsday would like to see the Mets get in on him.
Ken Rosenthal wrote earlier today that the Phillies also continue to monitor Nomar Garciaparra, who is "trying to decide whether he is physically sound enough to play next season."
Here's the latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Jeff Moorad's acquistion of the Padres does not affect the likelihood of a Jake Peavy trade, according to Rosenthal's source. There have been no recent conversations with the Cubs about Peavy.
- The Phillies had been confident of signing Ty Wigginton before the Orioles offered two years. The Phils are still mulling Nomar Garciaparra and Rich Aurilia, with the Giants also in on Aurilia. The Phillies are out on Will Ohman.
- Braden Looper is receiving interest from Baltimore, but he prefers the NL. The Brewers are not optimistic about signing Looper despite a recent conversation with one of his agents (Tom Haudricourt believes the Brewers are "laying in the weeds" for when the right pitcher comes along). Looper is Plan B behind Randy Wolf for the Dodgers, and not a candidate to return to the Cardinals (who are apparently out of money). One other team known to have interest in Looper is the Pirates.
The latest from SI.com's Jon Heyman:
- Some baseball people believe Omar Minaya will bring Pedro Martinez back to New York once Oliver Perez signs. Minaya loves Pedro and Pedro may prefer to return to the Mets
- The Phillies have about $3MM left to spend; Heyman wonders whether Moises Alou would sign for that kind of money.
- The Phillies have also considered Rich Aurilia and Nomar Garciaparra, but Aurilia may simply return to the Giants if they have room for him.
- Heyman says Ivan Rodriguez makes the most sense for the Marlins, but adds that they have little money to spend.
- Jeff Moorad's attempt to buy the Padres will almost certainly go through.
- Heyman makes one clarification about Milton Bradley's deal after viewing the contract. It's a two year $20MM deal with an option for a third year that kicks in if Bradley spends fewer than 75 days on the DL this year.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new column...
- Rosenthal speculates that the Giants may not be the right fit for Manny Ramirez, given a challenging ballpark and questionable supporting cast of hitters. Rosenthal suggests a contract that might work for Manny and the Dodgers: two years with a third-year player option, with no-trade protection covering only the first two years.
- Many remaining free agents - Adam Dunn for example - may prefer a one-year deal because it will increase their options and allow them to re-enter the market after the season.
- The White Sox found the price for Freddy Garcia to be too high ($1.5MM plus $6.5MM in incentives). Rosenthal deems Oliver Perez a bad fit for the Sox in part because he's a flyball pitcher. Also there's the whole Scott Boras thing.
- Among the right-handed hitters the Phillies are mulling, Rosenthal feels that Nomar Garciaparra and Rich Aurilia make the most sense.
- The Angels may go to Spring Training with their current club.
- Zack Greinke received "very minor" no-trade protection in the first two years of his new deal, with seemingly no protection when his salary shoots up to $13.5MM in 2011.
8:18pm: Philadelphia's search for a right-handed bat continues. Alden Gonzalez adds an update on MLB.com.
Names the Phillies have been linked to in that regard include Nomar Garciaparra, Ty Wigginton, Moises Alou, Rich Aurilia, Mark Grudzielanek and Kevin Millar, Gonzalez wrote.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Gonzalez that the addition does "not necessarily" need to be an infielder, though a little insurance while Pedro Feliz and Chase Utley recover from offseason surgeries wouldn't hurt.
"We're looking for a guy that has a bit of that versatility that's needed in the National League," Amaro told Gonzalez.
Jan. 23: Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer has the latest on the Phillies' pursuit of a right-handed bench bat. Names of interest: Nomar Garciaparra, Moises Alou, Mark Grudzielanek, Rich Aurilia, and Kevin Millar.
Salisbury says Garciaparra is the team's first choice, but Ruben Amaro Jr. remarked, "We can't be held hostage by Nomar, though he'd be a guy we'd like to bring in." Salisbury's source says the Phils are going "pretty hard" after Alou, who will attempt to re-establish his health in the World Baseball Classic. Two issues there: Alou's playing time expectations may be too high, and he reportedly prefers the AL where he can DH.
Let's gather up assorted pieces of Pirates information from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from the past few days...
- We already knew about Pedro Martinez; Kovacevic says the Pirates also have an eye on free agent starter Braden Looper. The Dodgers and D'Backs are other teams in the market for the 34 year-old hurler. Team president Frank Coonelly says free agents are "still asking for prices based on yesterday's market."
- Kovacevic suggests the Pirates may sign another bench player soon, someone other than fan favorite Doug Mientkiewicz.
- GM Neal Huntington ruled out free agents Rich Aurilia, Joe Crede, and Kevin Millar. Still, Coonelly expects the Pirates to sign more players, ones that fans "would fall in love with."
- Huntington says there are no current trade talks for shortstop Jack Wilson.
According to David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News, the Phillies are interested in Ty Wigginton.
Wigginton, who hit .285/.350/.526 in 429 plate appearances with Houston last year, would be an option at third base in case Pedro Feliz's back injury continues to be a problem.
Murphy reports that the Phillies have also looked at Rich Aurilia as an option at third base.