Thursday, January 08, 2004

Not a Dry Eye in the House 

The Seattle PI is reporting that the deal for Rich Aurilia looks to be a 1 year, $3.5M deal. They also indicate that the corresponding deal to send Carlos Guillen to Detroit may only be for minor leaguers meaning no move on the Ryan Anderson front will be forthcoming... at least not today.

Weather permitting, Aurilia is expected to arrive in Seattle today, where a routine physical is planned. One such physical, thankfully, already scrapped the M's trade of Carlos Guillen to Cleveland for former M Omar Vizquel. That move would have added a significant salary burden to the M's for a player whose health and career were both in decline.

One thing that the M's will be checking closely is a problem that Aurilia had with his left eye last year. The condition, known as "dry eye" caused the tear duct to not produce enough lubrication to wear contact lenses comfortably. The result, discomfort at the plate and occasional blurry vision.

According to the P-I, the problem has been dealt with, and Aurilia, who was batting .242 on May 2nd when the problem sent him to the bench. Aurilia returned 3 days later, and averaged .312 over the second half of the season.

Perhaps a 3.5M contract for a known hustler, who has proven more durable and hit for more power than Guillen will please the naysayers. Guillen's contract was 2.5M but included 900,000 in plate appearance incentives. If he batted 500 times like Rich Aurilia did last year (despite this problem AND having his appendix burst), Guillen would earn 2.95M, and 3.4M if he reached 600 plate appearances. Of course, Guillen has never reached 500 plate appearances in his career, and that is one of the reasons he became expendable.

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