Giants productive at Winter Meetings
Club inks Aurilia, Feliz to deals; Molina deal also reported
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It was a big roster-bolstering day for the Giants on Monday at the Winter Meetings.The club inked former infield fixture Rich Aurilia to a two-year deal worth around $8 million, re-signed third baseman Pedro Feliz to a one-season pact and have reportedly agreed to a contract with ex-Toronto catcher Bengie Molina. Molina's three-year contract hinges on the 32-year-old veteran passing a physical, according to Yahoo.com. His signing has been immiment, especially with veteran Mike Matheny still recovering from post-concussion syndrome and unlikely to return next year. Asked to comment on the Molina signing, a Giants spokesman said, "I have nothing to report on that." Matheny will undergo a critical examination in midweek to determine his status for next season, and Giants general manager Brian Sabean said on Monday that the veteran could suffer a relapse with any foul tip or collision even if medically cleared to play. "He's definitely coming to a crossroads," said Sabean, who would welcome Matheny to the coaching ranks in the future. "Mike is a very proud guy who loves the game." Molina's defensive skills have eroded, and the Blue Jays opted to keep Gregg Zaun as their starter. Aurilia, meantime, said he's excited about returning to San Francisco. "It's a place that feels like home to me," said Aurilia, 35, a fan favorite and shortstop there for eight years starting in 1995. "We have a lot of great memories there from the past. The Giants have never treated me with anything but respect, and they were at the top of my list." Aurilia's asking price and shrinking defensive range prompted the Giants to say goodbye after the 2003 season. He floated between Seattle and San Diego in 2004 with a mediocre .246 average and little power, but rediscovered both in a two-year stint with Cincinnati the past two seasons, knocking in 138 RBIs and hitting 37 homers. He hit .282 in 2005 and .300 last season. Aurilia earned $1.3 million for the Reds in 2006 and was extremely versatile, playing all infield positions, but he declined salary arbitration and now joins the Giants as the starting first baseman.
Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.