Is Brian Giles a target?
From ESPN’s Buster Olney:
There are a handful of teams willing to give veteran outfielder Brian Giles a deal for 2010, and the Reds and Yankees might be among those.
Giles is an interesting player. His career .291/.400/.502 line (OPS+ of 136, wOBA of .388) is impressive, although since the age of 32, his power has declined significantly (the decline coincides with his age and with his tenure as a San Diego Padre in Petco Park). Besides his power, in 2006, Giles’ numbers — even his patient eye — appeared to be on a downward track. However, a season ago, in 2008, he hit .306/.398/.456 and was once again a very productive player worth 4.7 wins above replacement. Ineffectiveness struck again, though, in 2009, as Giles hit a paltry .191/.277/.271 and cost the Padres over $7M in value. Still, the season could have been an anomaly as leg injuries and bad luck — .214 BABIP — were likely culpable for Giles’ ’09 swoon. Of course, Giles was also 38 this season and will be 39 prior to the start of the 2010 season, therefore, age could have certainly caught up with the once powerful left-hander.
If Olney’s speculation becomes a reality, perhaps the Yankees view Giles as a left field/designated hitter option. Giles was an average left fielder in his days with the Pirates, but has since played right field for the Padres. As a right fielder, he’s either been good or awful — there hasn’t been much grey area there — so I would not expect a very productive defensive performance out of Giles in left field, especially after leg problems this season. Maybe limiting his left field at-bats by slotting him in as the team’s DH would help to dilute his defensive deficiencies. Either way, he’s a cheap outfield/DH option and he’s left-handed, so he’s a name that the Yankees, according to Olney, could consider.
Defensive issues aside, Giles comes with a slew of problems. He’s old, he’s coming off of an awful, injury-plagued season, and he has some extremely negative character issues — he allegedly beat his girlfriend and caused at least one of her two miscarriages, according to legal documents — which all make him an unattractive option. In my opinion, he’s not a very realistic target for these reasons, but the Yankees, in an attempt to limit their spending, might be bargain hunting right now, so I guess you can’t rule anything out. Still, I must stress that it is an unlikely match and, as stated by Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger, with Giles, “the Yankees are just doing their due diligence by checking in.”
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