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Aurilia now a free agent

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[quote][size=3][b]Aurilia now a free agent[/b][/size]
Reds notebook


Reds infielder Rich Aurilia on Tuesday declined his $2 million mutual option for the 2007 season and is now a free agent.

That does not necessarily mean Aurilia, who hit 23 home runs and batted .300 this past season, is headed elsewhere.

"Richie is doing this so he can see what else might be out there," general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "At the same time, he's got interest in continuing to talk to us. We'll continue to talk to him.

"This should be viewed as procedural. This should not be viewed in any way that he's snubbing his nose at the Reds. This is strictly procedural."

Aurilia, 35, played in 122 games last season and led the Reds with a .332 batting average, 12 home runs and 36 RBI after the All-Star break. He made 105 starts at four infield positions and one start as a designated hitter.

Aurilia went through the same process last offseason before signing a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Reds in early January that included the mutual option for the 2007 season. The contract stipulated he had to declare within 10 days from the end of the World Series.

"He now has the ability to talk to other teams about opportunities and about everything but money," Krivsky said. "After the 15-day (filing) period is over, he can talk dollars with other teams just like all the other players can. So we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out."

Other Reds who filed for free agency Tuesday were relief pitchers Eddie Guardado, Scott Schoeneweis and Ryan Franklin.

Outfielder Todd Hollandsworth, relief pitcher David Weathers, pitcher Jason Johnson and infielder Royce Clayton filed over the weekend.

Relief pitcher Kent Mercker is the Reds' only remaining potential free agent who has not filed.[/quote]

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