Deadline passes with Weaver, Gonzalez unsigned

Updated: January 9, 2006, 1:05 AM ET
Associated Press

Rich Aurilia
Aurilia

NEW YORK -- Second baseman Rich Aurilia and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a $1.3 million, one-year contract on Sunday night, about three hours before the team would have lost the right to re-sign him until May.

Jeff Weaver, who went 14-11 with a 4.22 ERA for the Dodgers last year, did not reach an agreement with Los Angeles before the midnight EST deadline.

Weaver led the Dodgers with a career-high 14 wins last year, but he and the team failed to reach an agreement on a new contract by Sunday night's 9 p.m. PST deadline. Now, the Dodgers are prohibited from signing him until May 1, and it's just about certain the 29-year-old right-hander will hook on with somebody else long before then.

Jeff Weaver
Weaver

"I wish Jeff Weaver would be pitching for the Dodgers in 2006," general manager Ned Colletti said shortly after the deadline passed. "It's not going to happen. I wish there would have been a way we could have figured something out, but it turned out there was a difference in philosophy and a difference of opinion."

Also letting the deadline pass were infielder Alex Gonzalez and Tampa Bay, and pitcher Pedro Astacio and San Diego.

Pedro Astacio
Astacio

First baseman Eduardo Perez, the fifth remaining unsigned free agent among the 26 offered salary arbitration on Dec. 7, has been working on finalizing a contract with Cleveland and has not been talking to the Devil Rays, his former club.

Under baseball's labor contract, free agents offered arbitration have until Jan. 8 to re-sign with their former teams. After that, they can't re-sign until May 1.

Aurilia's deal contains a $2 million mutual option for 2007. If he has 400 plate appearances this year, a $100,000 buyout would kick in if the option is declined. If he has 450 plate appearances, the buyout amount would increase to $200,000.

Aurilia hit .282 with 14 homers and 68 RBI last year for the Reds in his first season with the team.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press