Piazza Turns Down Phils; Arbuckle To Cincy?

The Phillies were more interested in Mike Piazza than they let on, but in the end, Piazza chose getting more time behind the plate with San Diego over coming to Philadelphia. Another Mike, Phillies assistant GM Mike Arbuckle, will be interviewing with the Cincinnati Reds for their vacant general manager's job later this week.

Mike Piazza didn't like the idea of being a DH at all. He still believes he can catch more games per season than most people around baseball do and the San Diego Padres were willing to give him a chance to prove it. Because of that, Piazza signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Padres. He also gets a mutual option year that would pay him $8 million if both sides agreed to exercise the option for the 2007 season.

Piazza's father told The Philadelphia Inquirer that his son seriously considered coming to Philadelphia and that the lure of playing in Philly was pretty tempting. The 37 year old Piazza would have had his playing time pieced together with the Phillies, playing some time behind the plate, some at first and a chunk of his time as a DH in interleague games or as a pinch-hitter. The Padres expect Piazza to do most of their catching.

At about the same time that they learned that Piazza had turned down their offer, the Cincinnati Reds asked for permission to interview Mike Arbuckle for their vacant GM position.

New owner Bob Castellini fired GM Dan O'Brien last week and is seeking a replacement. Arbuckle has previously interviewed for jobs in Boston, Toronto and Pittsburgh, in addition to interviewing with the Phillies to move into their general manager's office as last as last October. It's thought that there are five or six other candidates for the Reds' job, with at least four of them coming from inside the organization.

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