Rich Aurilia Rumors
Andrew Baggarly has a little bit of info about free agent first baseman Rich Aurilia. Aurilia's agent is having ongoing conversations with the Giants, and the team considers him their top option for a right-handed bat off the bench. A one-year deal seems likely, but Baggarly isn't sure what's holding up the process.
Aurilia, 37, hit .283/.332/.413 in 440 plate appearances while playing the infield corners. He earned $4.5MM, so a significant pay cut is in order.
According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune:
The Cubs have spoken to Rich Aurilia's agent and may offer Aurilia a one-year deal to take Ronny Cedeno's spot and back up Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee.
Still more Tuesday links...
- The Giants and Rich Aurilia maintain mutual interest, though the Giants want to address the offense first.
- Mike Sweeney hopes to play this year, says MLB.com. Said Sweeney, "I want baseball to shut the door on me while I'm kicking and screaming." The Royals have not expressed interest.
- Much is being made of Mark Teixeira and his wife choosing the Yankees on December 12th.
- According to ESPN Radio's Andrew Marchand, the Mets have a face-to-face meeting scheduled with Scott Boras to discuss Oliver Perez and Derek Lowe (hat tip to MetsBlog).
- John Fay guesses the Reds "have at least explored trading for Xavier Nady."
- Paul DePodesta on the Padres' recent non-roster signings.
- Aging corner-type veterans aren't doing well, according to Keith Law, Dave Cameron, and Tom Verducci.
8:22pm: John Mozeliak said tonight the Cardinals never engaged with Burnett's agent. A commitment of more than two years to a free agent starter is extremely unlikely.
3:40pm: Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says it's "not true" that the Cardinals are players for Burnett.
8:30am: The latest from Ken Rosenthal:
- The Cardinals are a serious bidder for A.J. Burnett. They also pursued him back in 2005. The Blue Jays would get the Cardinals' #19 pick next June if they sign him. However, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently wrote that the Cards "are not expected to pursue the free agent pool's bigger fish: C.C. Sabathia, Ben Sheets, A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe."
- The Mets have Jon Garland on the radar. Jerry Crasnick likes Garland as a fit for the Cards.
- The Brewers haven't decided to increase their offer to C.C. Sabathia at this time, and won't consider it until they meet with the big lefty. A meeting is scheduled; Sabathia may grill the Brewers about their other offseason plans. Rosenthal thinks Kerry Wood might make the most sense among free agent closers.
- The Mets, Indians, and Cardinals are interested in J.J. Putz.
- The Cubs are eyeing Rich Aurilia, but only if they happen to move Ronny Cedeno or Mike Fontenot.
- The Nationals "aren't terribly enamored" of Willy Taveras, contrary to previous reports. The Nats instead have Carlos Gonzalez in their sights.
Here's a look at the latest from Yahoo's Tim Brown.
- The Mets kicked around the idea internally of signing both Brian Fuentes and Trevor Hoffman. The eighth inning would be a tough sell for either pitcher though.
- Brown says that if the Angels fail to sign Mark Teixeira they will try to sign C.C. Sabathia as well as a closer like Fuentes.
- The Dodgers want the Pirates to eat "a huge chunk" of the $7.85MM Jack Wilson has coming.
- The Giants and Dodgers have shown interest in Rich Aurilia.
- Rich Aurilia could be re-signed, but Omar Vizquel won't be back. The Giants will buy Vizquel out for $300K.
- With Pablo Sandoval penciled in at first base, the Giants may be reluctant to trade catcher Bengie Molina (my own speculation on the Molina part).
- Matt Cain is said to be "untouchable" in a trade. So we'll stop with the Cain trade scenarios for now.
- Possible offseason needs include bullpen help and a run-producer. The relief help could come via free agency, while the bat would probably come via trade. That bat would not be a guy with one year left on his contract (Matt Holliday comes to mind).
Some random links for today...
- McCovey Chronicles thinks Rich Aurilia would be a nice fit for the '09 Giants.
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times says the Yankees never really had to give up on Javier Vazquez.
- The Mets released Al Reyes; he never pitched for them. Reyes had nine saves for the Rays in April of last year, but it's mostly been downhill since then.
- Jason Varitek does not want to talk about 2009. It's hard to see the Red Sox offering him more than one year.
- RotoAuthority discusses the fantasy baseball code of honor.
- Schulman says the Giants' front office is divided on whether to trade right fielder Randy Winn this winter. Nate Schierholtz has a .931 OPS in Triple A this year, but can he be a capable regular in 2009? Winn makes $8.25MM in '09, and can block trades to ten teams. The Giants could take advantage of a weak free agent market for center fielders, if Winn can still handle the position.
- Tyler Walker, owner of a 4.95 ERA, expects to be non-tendered by the Giants rather than given an arbitration raise from his current $750K. Schulman thinks Walker could still return on a lesser deal.
- Baggarly looks at Rich Aurilia, who has drawn little trade interest this year (though published reports have mentioned the Mets and Rays). Baggarly thinks the Giants need to keep him around this year to remain respectable at third base, and could even entertain the possibility for '09. Aurilia has a strong connection to the Giants organization.
- Shea has an article up discussing possiblities for third base next year, mentioning Adrian Beltre, Casey Blake, Joe Crede, and Hank Blalock.
The Red Sox, three games behind the Rays in the standings, have the advantage when it comes to waiver claims. Both teams are dealing with injured third basemen for the next few weeks, and may choose to bring in some veteran assistance.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe names four players who may be of interest to the Red Sox and Rays: Rich Aurilia, Mark Loretta, Gary Sheffield, and Kevin Millar.
Even after he clears waivers, a deal for Sheffield seems unlikely. The Rays have already expressed their disinterest. Sheffield doesn't expect a deal, noting that he's been put on waivers many times. Cafardo says the Rays do have interest in Aurilia, while the other names are speculation for both teams.
Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News has a rumor this morning:
A New York Mets official is following the Giants and has submitted a recommendation to acquire Rich Aurilia. The Brooklyn native is likely one of the first names the Giants submitted through waivers; if so, he would clear on Tuesday.
Aurilia has about $1.5MM left on his contract this year; he's hitting .281/.334/.421 in 308 plate appearances. He's a righthanded hitter who has handled southpaws well. He'd be a fine platoon partner for Carlos Delgado, and he could also dabble at the other infield positions as needed. The Giants would probably be happy just with salary relief.