Mariners will get player to be named or cash

Updated: July 20, 2004, 6:55 PM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- The San Diego Padres added some infield depth, getting Rich Aurilia from the Seattle Mariners on Monday for a player to be named or cash.

Rich Aurilia
Shortstop
Seattle Mariners
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R SB AVG
73 4 28 27 1 .241

"He's got a lot of experience and played with winning teams with the Giants," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "The guy gives us a proven veteran. We always liked him and felt he would strengthen our bench."

Signed as a free agent in January, Aurilia slumped this season. He hit just .241 with four home runs and 28 RBIs in his first year in the AL. He was designated for assignment July 10, giving the Mariners 10 days to decide what to do with him.

"We hope the change of scenery gets him back on track," Bochy said. "Hopefully, coming back to the National League will do that."

Mariners manager Bob Melvin said he was happy for Aurilia to get another chance.

"He's going back to the National League and he knows that division because that's where he played before and he's a guy who relies on preparation," Melvin said before Monday night's game with Boston. "I think he can help San Diego. We knew there would be some interest out there."

Melvin said Aurilia was pressing too much in an effort to help the last-place Mariners, who are on pace to lose 100 games this season.

"He was just caught up in all that," Melvin said.

Aurilia has played shortstop for nearly his entire career, and the Padres already have Khalil Greene at that spot.

Greene has been impressive in his rookie year, but might need a backup toward the end of his first full season. The Padres are in contention for the NL West lead while the Mariners had the worst record in the AL at the time of the trade.

"He will be a utility player here," Bochy said. "He will help us on the field and in the clubhouse. He's a clutch player and a winning player. And he's versatile."

Aurilia, 32, hit 37 home runs with 97 RBIs in 2001 with San Francisco while batting in front of Barry Bonds. He led the NL in homers and RBIs by a shortstop in three consecutive seasons (1999-2001) and hit .324 in an All-Star season in 2001.

Aurilia was hurt last year and hit .277 with 13 homers and 58 RBIs with the Giants. He is a career .276 hitter with 130 homers and 501 RBIs since making his major league debut in 1995 with the Giants.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press