Marcus Giles Rumors
According to Scott Lauber of The News Journal, the Phillies released infielder Marcus Giles this morning. Giles blamed himself for not performing well enough. He hit .167/.302/.250 in 41 spring plate appearances after sitting out the 2008 season.
Coupled with various demotions, Miguel Cairo is left as the only potential righthanded bench bat according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Zolecki says the Phils continue to look for help in that regard.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney:
Joe Bick also represents Marcus Giles, who last played in the majors in 2007, and he says that the second baseman, 30, absolutely is not retired. "He wants to come back and play," Bick said. "I could not be more thrilled with what he's done over the course of the summer [to re-start his career]...He's going to set a goal of making an All-Star team." Bick said he's already had some conversations with some teams.
We haven't heard much about Giles since April, when he almost signed with the Dodgers. He may have to spend some time in the minors, as he hasn't put up tolerable numbers since '06. He's also not much with the glove, and the free agent market for second basemen is decent.
THURSDAY, 1:45pm: Not so fast. Miller has an update to his initial report below, which came from Marcus' brother Brian. Marcus' agent is now saying that Brian was misinformed - they never finalized anything with the Dodgers and he's not playing for them, after all.
THURSDAY, 8:14am: Scott Miller says Giles will report to Triple A for the Dodgers, after all. The Dodgers still seem to have some interest in Wes Helms though.
TUESDAY: Tony Jackson of the L.A. Daily News chronicles the odd tale of the Dodgers' near-signing of infielder Marcus Giles. Apparently an agreement was reached but Giles changed his mind on the drive over to Cashman Field in Las Vegas. He was to re-acquaint himself with third base at Triple A before joining the Dodgers.
Jackson notes that this Giles debacle caused Ned Colletti to miss out on two available role players, one of which was Alex Cintron. A commenter on Jackson's blog suggested Scott Spiezio was the other; not a bad guess. Seems possible that Giles might retire; he turns 30 in May.
The Rockies have released veteran Marcus Giles; they're going with Jayson Nix at second base to open the season. Giles had a good spring, hitting .321/.457/.536 in 28 ABs. The Dodgers are one team with possible mild interest.
Giles is not yet 30 but he's scramlbing for work these days. Back in '05 he posted an .826 OPS; what happened?
Nothing huge cooking this morning, so here are some odds and ends.
- Doesn't look like the Dodgers will acquire Marcus Giles.
- Rany Jazayerli writes about how Kansas City is home to many of the country's best baseball journalists. On a related note, the Star's Sam Mellinger has a chat with Brian Bannister on his blog.
- Coco Crisp rattles off the trade rumors he's heard: Cubs, Sox, A's, Padres. No deal appears imminent, though Crisp was healthy enough to pinch-run this morning.
- John Harper snags an exclusive with Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod admitted he chose the Rangers over the Mets for money and feared he was going down that road again this past winter.
- Roch Kubatko writes that Brian Roberts was pulled from the lineup today for back pain, hoping to nip trade speculation in the bud.
- The Phillies have to make a decision on Kris Benson today.
- Aaron Gleeman weighs in on the Joe Nathan extension. Buster Olney talked to baseball execs who felt the Twins should've added Nathan's money to their Johan offer.
The Rocky Mountain News is reporting Marcus Giles was informed he won't make the club despite his solid spring. Giles wasn't on the list of players being sent to the minors (a list which included Victor Zambrano), but the speculation is that he will be released and given a chance to hook on with another team. The Dodgers would seem like an obvious fit, but it's likely several teams will be in the running.
Giles hit .321/.457/.536 over 13 games, with four doubles and nine runs scored. He was also 3 for 3 in steal attempts. However, the likely starter at second Jayson Nix was equal to the task, hitting .286/.459/.643 with three HRs.
The team also announced it plans to use Kip Wells out of the bullpen to start 2008. That seemingly leaves Franklin Morales (6.48 ERA in 16.2 innings), Mark Redman (7.23 ERA in 18.2 innings) and Josh Towers (7.20 ERA in 15 innings) in competition for the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation.
John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus has some hot stove tidbits to consider in his Sunday column.
- Perrotto notes that Jeff Baker's success this spring for the Rockies could lead to a trade of Marcus Giles. Baker is hitting .316/.350/.579 in a 19 AB sample. Giles is at .385/.500/.615 in 13 ABs (yes, it seems silly to be talking about these stats). Giles hasn't hit much since '05, so I doubt he'd bring anything in return.
- Perrotto says the Padres are "considering trying to trade for Coco Crisp." However, Tom Krasovic wrote on Friday that the Padres pursuing Crisp was doubtful for many reasons. Who knows; at the least, Theo Epstein and Kevin Towers get along.
- David Wells is still kicking around wanting to play, and could have to wait and serve as a midseason reinforcement.
With yesterday's signing of Brad Hawpe the Rockies have now locked up five young players through at least 2010 over the past 14 months. Impressive. The Denver Post says Garrett Atkins would be "the next logical candidate" for a deal, but that his situation continues to be complicated by Ian Stewart, who the Rockies are attempting to move over to second to avoid a logjam.
Naturally Matt Holliday's name came up in light of the Hawpe signing, but owner Dick Monfort tried to keep that at bay, calling the situation "a different animal, not related to these contracts."
This spring training is Stewart's third with the team. He started and played four innings at second today, but didn't have anything hit his way. He's battling Jeff Baker, Omar Quintanilla, Jayson Nix, Clint Barmes, and Marcus Giles for the starting job in what should be one of the more interesting position battles this spring. Nix may have the edge, but the team would love for Stewart to help them avoid the Atkins question altogether by making a smooth transition.
Let's see what's going on with the Rockies this morning.
The Denver Post's Troy E. Renck writes about the Rockies' rising payroll. They're going to have to cough up over $10MM extra in 2008 just to retain current arbitration-eligible players like Garrett Atkins, Matt Holliday, Brian Fuentes, and Brad Hawpe. Holliday might get the biggest bump, around a $5MM increase. As far as team control, the Rox have Atkins through 2010, Holliday through 2009, Fuentes through 2008, and Hawpe through 2010. There's no rush but many of these guys might be trade considerations down the road.
Also, Tracy Ringolsby reports that the Rockies have agreed to a nonguaranteed deal with Marcus Giles. He's just insurance though - Jayson Nix is the favorite to play second base. Nix's Triple A performance in '07 was equivalent to a .252/.290/.387 line in the bigs.