And so the inevitable has finally occurred; Marcus Giles has signed with San Diego:
"All I can say is this is something we hope to accomplish in the next few days," Joe Bick, the agent for the Giles brothers, said yesterday. "Our interest has been to sign with the Padres. We've been working on finalizing a deal."
Marcus Giles will get a base salary around $3.25 million this season with incentives that could take his contract to $4.25 million. The club option for 2008 is at $4 million.
Chalk this one up in the lose column for John Schuerholz. He tried for almost three months to pawn off Giles on the Padres, but Kevin Towers wouldn't budge. Towers knew the market for second baseman, he knew the market for Marcus Giles, and he knew all that better than Schuerholz. In the end he got the second baseman he had wanted, he got him without giving up anyone to get him, and he got him for $2 million less. This may come back to haunt us...or...it could look rather wise, let me explain...
Giles has not been the best batter at PETCO Park since it opened three years ago. In 43 at-bats Giles sports a .209 BA / .277 OBP / .233 SLG, no homeruns, and a 12-to-4 K/BB ratio at PETCO. Compare that to the .471/.542/.824 (17 ABs) line at San Diego's old stadium, Qualcomm, or to his overall line against the Padres, .263/.346/.364 (118 ABs). Certainly the Padres have some good pitching, but Giles has not been able to do anything with it at PETCO. His huge sweeping swing and desire to swing for the fences may be about as well suited for the Padres new park as was Ryan Klesko's swing. Klesko's homerun total went from the mid-20s to 30s to nine in his first year playing at PETCO. Brain Giles, Marcus' brother, has also seen his homerun production decline. In the three years he's been in San Diego he's hit only 22 homeruns at home verses 30 on the road, and that reflects the decline in all aspects of his offensive game with his home numbers of .272/.377/.430, and his road numbers of .292/.401/.470 in stark contrast to each other.
So by that logic, can Marcus expect a falloff of 20 to 30 points in each of these categories, or will it be worse when taking into account his numbers at PETCO. I think it will be a recipe for disaster as Marcus' big swing will be well suited for Spring Training in Arizona where he might put up big numbers in the high desert, but when he gets home to the long fences of the sea-level PETCO he's in for a rude awakening. As much as I want to root for him, and I do, I am realistic after all these years of watching him that his swing is not suited to that stadium and the numbers above back that assertion up.