The P-I, scooping the Times once more, is reporting that the M’s have agreed to a one-year, $4M contract with free agent shortstop Rich Aurilia. The deal is contingent on the Mariners being able to trade Carlos Guillen. Possible trade destinations include Detroit, Milwaukee and Colorado.
As an aside, imagine if you have Guillen in a fantasy league. You might luck out and score some Coors-inflated numbers next season, or you might wind up with him playing in Detroit. Ouch.
Getting back to Aurilia, I don’t have strong feelings about this one way or the other. Sure he’s older and slightly more expensive than Guillen, but he’s also a better bet to play 140 games in 2004. It’s also a very good thing that this is a one-year deal — perhaps they invision Jose Lopez taking over in 2005 — rather than the long-term deal Aurilia and his agent were supposedly looking for. Finally, there’s a chance the M’s wind up with a decent prospect for Guillen. Overall, I’d put this one down as a small net positive.
Happy New Year.