Remember way back to…last year? Giles was perhaps the premiere free agent outfielder on the market. He got MVP votes in 2005. He played good enough defense that the Yankees even considered signing him to play center last winter.
But here we are, with Giles owed $18MM over his age 36-37 seasons. Kevin Towers is out flirting with J.D. Drew and Alfonso Soriano (and Towers is taking them to fancy dinnesr) while Giles is yesterday’s news despite his acceptance of a hometown discount.
I really thought Giles would age better than this. His slugging plummetted 86 points. His flyball percentage actually increased, and his home runs per flyball didn’t drop too far. Almost half of the power outage can be blamed on a decrease in triples, believe it or not. Extrapolating his 2006 to the 545 ABs of the previous year, Giles had six fewer singles, five fewer doubles, seven fewer triples, and two fewer home runs. Doesn’t sound like much, but in sum it looks pretty bad.
He also saw his walk rate decline by about 3% (though walking 14.5% of the time ain’t too shabby). Giles should still be worth most of his remaining salary, and it’s only two years. He’d be a fine pickup for the Phillies, Mariners, or Rangers, whose parks are kind to left-handed power hitters.