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View Full Version : Buying Low This Offseason: Marcus Giles?



15fan
09-30-2006, 11:22 AM
from my 9/30/06 AJC:

By DAVID O'BRIEN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 09/30/06

Skeptics said he was too small to be a major leaguer, and he proved them wrong.

They said his defense would never be good enough for the majors, and he proved them wrong.

They said he wasn't a prototypical leadoff hitter, and he ... proved them right.

Marcus Giles' first season as a leadoff hitter for the Braves could be his last — his last season as a leadoff hitter, and his last season with the Braves.

The 28-year-old second baseman could see his salary rise from this year's $3.85 million to more than $5 million in his final year of arbitration, before he's eligible for free agency after the 2007 season.

The salary, along with his marketability and reluctance to embrace the leadoff role, are all factors that put him at the top of the list of Braves most likely to be traded this winter — just ahead of Andruw Jones, who is also eligible for free agency after the 2007 season.

"I feel like it could go either way," Giles said of being traded. "But obviously I've never been anything but 100 percent sure that I was coming back. So being 50-50 now is an awkward position to be in.

"It is a little bit of an uncomfortable feeling, something I hadn't anticipated feeling. But at the same time, it is part of the game, so there's no sense in getting upset about it."

Giles hit .265 with 45 extra-base hits, 10 stolen bases and 59 RBIs before Friday, including just .253 with a .337 on-base percentage in 459 at-bats as a leadoff man.

This after he hit .291 with 64 extra-base hits last season, .311 in 2004 and .316 with 72 extra-base hits (21 homers) and 69 RBIs in 2003.

The Braves might trim salary at one or two positions to pay increases on the pitching staff and elsewhere. If Giles is dealt, the Braves haven't decided if a replacement would come from within the organization or via trade or free agency.

The free-agent class is thin on second basemen, and a trade seems more likely if an outsider is to replace him. If the Braves look inward, rookie Martin Prado and Willy Aybar have shown enough to warrant consideration for the second base job, but Aybar might be slotted as the backup for oft-injured third baseman Chipper Jones.

Aybar has hit .292 with 26 doubles, five homers and a .388 on-base percentage in 325 at-bats in two seasons with the Dodgers and Braves, including .333 with a .425 OBP in 144 at-bats as a leadoff man.

Giles was asked if his chances of staying might be greater had he performed better in the leadoff role.

"I'm sure it would've helped," he said, "but I just think one of the biggest things this offense is lacking is a true, good leadoff hitter. Obviously I'm not the guy for that job. I've known that since January."

The Braves were left without a leadoff man after Rafael Furcal signed a three-year, $39 million free-agent contract with the Dodgers last winter, the Los Angeles proposal dwarfing offers he received from the Braves and Cubs. Furcal hit .301 with 15 homers, 37 stolen bases and a .371 on-base percentage before Friday.

He was quickly replaced in December when the Braves traded for shortstop Edgar Renteria, who had thrived most of his career in the No. 2 spot. Giles prefers the No. 2 spot and had excelled in it for three seasons.

The Braves decided Giles would be adequate to replace Furcal in the leadoff spot for one season, figuring a player with a .292 career average before this season, and a .366 on-base percentage and high extra-base hits totals, could offset a lack of stolen bases and a strikeouts-to-walks ratio that was atypical for a No. 1 hitter.

What the Braves didn't count on was Giles missing part of spring training for a family matter, and missing nearly 20 games with several nagging injuries, including the hand injury that had him out of Friday's lineup.

They never expected Giles would get off to such a poor start in April – .192 average, one homer, four RBIs – that it only added to his frustrations in the leadoff role. It also foretold a streaky season of highs and lows.

He has been something of a contradiction in his stance on the leadoff job, several times reiterating he wasn't happy in the job and didn't want to get comfortable in the role, while always adding that he wouldn't complain and would make the best of the situation because the Braves didn't have any better options.

Braves officials won't say if Giles will be back next season. But they are dealing with payroll restrictions, and most other high-salaried players are either too valuable and affordable (John Smoltz) to trade, or have big contracts (Mike Hampton, Chipper Jones to a lesser extent) that make them difficult or impossible to move if the Braves wanted to do so. In Chipper Jones' case, they've given no indication of wanting to trade him.

..........

So Giles isn't a leadoff man. Fine.

For 2007, he'd fit the bill nicely at 2nd and allow Phillips to slide over to SS.

If the Reds contend in 2007, Giles is part of it. If not, shop him at the deadline. Or sit on him and then let him walk as a FA & take the comp picks.

As far as who the Reds could deal, I'll leave that up to the trade folks around here. I'll throw out that the Braves, like everyone else, will be looking for starting pitching this offseason. Perhaps the expanded dimensions of Turner Field would be more forgiving on someone like Eric Milton...

Edit: It's also worth noting that Giles & his wife also had a child early in the season. There were some complications with either the birth or the early days thereafter, which would perhaps partially explain why Giles put up some substandard numbers in 2006.

EKURed
09-30-2006, 11:40 AM
I definitely like Giles and think he would be a good addition.

OnBaseMachine
09-30-2006, 11:42 AM
Count me in as one who would love to have him.

Red Leader
09-30-2006, 11:57 AM
I've mentioned him previously on this board as a player to target this offseason. It is believed that the Braves are not only looking for starting pitching, but for relief pitching as well. Specifically, the Braves mentioned that they would like to get a decent setup guy in their bullpen for Giles and NOT have to throw any money in when trading Giles.

Not throwing any money in for a 3rd year arbitration eligible 2B? That's fine, meet Mr. Majewski.

Seriously, I bet they'd take it. Remember the Kevin Millwood trade to the Phils?

Falls City Beer
09-30-2006, 12:18 PM
I like Giles, too, but tread carefully. He's something of an injury risk, and at age 28, no longer a spring chicken.

Heath
09-30-2006, 12:33 PM
I like Giles, too, but tread carefully. He's something of an injury risk, and at age 28, no longer a spring chicken.

There are darkening skies gathering above...so I must be agreeing with FCB.

He's going to have some upside and potential - but he'll be walking after this year if he goes nuts.

I think it's going to take more then Majewski to get it done - probably Coffey and Pelland IMO.

edabbs44
09-30-2006, 12:48 PM
I think he might have had some pharmaceutical help when he was at his peak.

Falls City Beer
09-30-2006, 12:50 PM
I think he might have had some pharmaceutical help when he was at his peak.

It's my pet theory, too. But I genuinely have nothing to substantiate that.

Red Leader
09-30-2006, 12:52 PM
I think he might have had some pharmaceutical help when he was at his peak.

I don't believe that. Obviously, I have no proof, but I find that hard to believe. He has had various injuries that have cost him a couple weeks (and more) each of the last 3-4 seasons. And as someone already mentioned, the family stuff he went through in spring traiing this year had to be devestating to him. I think if you put him in a Reds uniform, and hit him 2nd, he leads the league in doubles and provides a lot opportunity for those behind him to drive him in. Now only if they could also get a speedy lead off CFer.

Hmmm, come to think of it, I wouldn't be opposed to Freel playing CF everyday and hitting lead off if they acquired Giles.

RedsManRick
09-30-2006, 01:05 PM
I'd be very happy with Deno leading off and Giles 2nd and at 2B. The question is what it would take to get him. I have to imagine a lot of teams would be interested.

Red Leader
09-30-2006, 01:11 PM
I have to imagine a lot of teams would be interested.

Other than San Francisco (who will probably let Durham walk--which takes one other team out of the sweeps for Giles)and St. Louis, I can't think of another team that might need a 2B next year. Adam Kennedy will be available as a free agent. Ronnie Belliard, too.

REDREAD
10-02-2006, 04:40 PM
I think it's going to take more then Majewski to get it done - probably Coffey and Pelland IMO.

If that's all it would take, I do that trade, and I like Coffey.

Of course, that's contingent upon Cast being willing to spend the money to at least attempt to sign him long term.

If Giles is just going to be a one year rental, forget it, because we aren't likely to contend next year, even with Giles.

flyer85
10-02-2006, 06:09 PM
The Reds don't have much to trade. I could only see Giles in a Cincy uniform if there is almost no market for his services. He would certainly be a nice pickup but only at the right price.

Red Leader
10-02-2006, 06:16 PM
The Reds don't have much to trade. I could only see Giles in a Cincy uniform if there is almost no market for his services. He would certainly be a nice pickup but only at the right price.

I'm still of the opinion that there won't be much demand for a 2B this offseason. I've thought of all of the teams in baseball and I can't think of more than 2-3 that could really use a 2B for next year, especially at the $4.5-5.5M Giles will likely get with his arbitration raise. That bodes well for the Reds if they plan on shifting Phillips over to SS.

As far as Giles goes, if they did make a trade and could get him on a 2 yr / $8.0M contract with a mutual option for a third, that'd be a good deal, IMO.

klw
10-03-2006, 01:25 PM
Other than San Francisco (who will probably let Durham walk--which takes one other team out of the sweeps for Giles)and St. Louis, I can't think of another team that might need a 2B next year. Adam Kennedy will be available as a free agent. Ronnie Belliard, too.

And Mark Loretta

captainmorgan07
10-04-2006, 12:01 AM
braves won't let him slip away i gurantee it

Patrick Bateman
10-04-2006, 12:40 AM
I'm still of the opinion that there won't be much demand for a 2B this offseason. I've thought of all of the teams in baseball and I can't think of more than 2-3 that could really use a 2B for next year, especially at the $4.5-5.5M Giles will likely get with his arbitration raise. That bodes well for the Reds if they plan on shifting Phillips over to SS.

As far as Giles goes, if they did make a trade and could get him on a 2 yr / $8.0M contract with a mutual option for a third, that'd be a good deal, IMO.

If Giles could get $4.5-5.5M in arbitration, why would he sign a 2 year contract for $8M? More likely cost you about $12-13M.

Red Leader
10-04-2006, 12:30 PM
If Giles could get $4.5-5.5M in arbitration, why would he sign a 2 year contract for $8M? More likely cost you about $12-13M.

Well, if say he could get $4.5M next year (estimated, IMO), then offering him a 2 year / $8M deal isn't too bad of a cut for him. Throw in a third year option at $5.5M or a $1M buyout and I'd bet he'd at least consider it.

If not, we'd still trade for him, pay him his 4.5-5.5M for next year and let him walk via FA or trade him again at the deadline. If that's the case, and you know that he won't sign a LTC, that has to effect what you offer in trade for him.

RedsManRick
10-04-2006, 12:44 PM
Giles is a solid defender, is 28 years old, has a .285/.361/.448 with good speed and won't cost too much salary wise. Outside of developing a guy, this is as good as it gets in terms of value. I think he'd be a perfect fit, giving us a 2B whose skill set is great for the 2nd spot in the lineup and would improve our defense. I don't know what the asking price is, but if he's available, Krvisky should be on the phone yesterday.

BRM
10-04-2006, 01:42 PM
Is Giles considered a plus defender or is he right about average? I wouldn't mind seeing a middle infield of Giles and Phillips next year.

Red Leader
10-04-2006, 01:50 PM
YEAR TEAM POS GP GS INN TC PO A E DP FPCT RF ZR
2001 Atl 2B 62 59 518 276 104 166 6 31 .978 4.69 .800
2002 Atl 2B 52 47 425 263 118 139 6 35 .977 5.45 .834
2003 Atl 2B 139 136 1214 763 278 471 14 85 .982 5.55 .869
2004 Atl 2B 97 94 789 487 186 289 12 69 .975 5.42 .829
2005 Atl 2B 149 147 1276 747 266 469 12 97 .984 5.18 .800
2006 Atl 2B 134 132 1150 638 259 368 11 81 .983 4.91 .786

It looks like his FPCT has stayed relatively high, but his RF and ZR have declined each of the last 2 years. From what I've watched of him play, he does have a very good glove. Not sure why his RF and ZR have decreased the last few years, he's not that old. He has had some leg injuries the past couple years however (groin, hamstring, etc)

flyer85
10-04-2006, 02:10 PM
Not sure why his RF and ZR have decreased the last few yearsin the case of RF it could simply be the Braves have transitioned to more of a flyball pitching staff.

registerthis
10-04-2006, 02:30 PM
If Giles is just going to be a one year rental, forget it, because we aren't likely to contend next year, even with Giles.

Oh, we already know this, do we?

Three days into the offseason and we're already predicting that nothing Krivsky is going to do this offseason can make the Reds competitive in 2007? Nice to see the glass half full.

RedsManRick
10-04-2006, 02:44 PM
For context on his defense:

Brandon Phillips 2006 (career)
FLD%: .977 (.978)
RF: 4.92 (5.15)
ZR: .822 (8.41)

Marcus Giles 2006 (career)
FLD%: .983 (.981)
RF: 4.91 (5.22)
ZR: .786 (.820)

Based on this year for these 3 stats, both rate as league average 2B at best. I would note that RF is particularly sensitive to a staff with extreme K/9 and GB/FB rates as it limits opportunties to field. Though, going by ZR, Giles had a rough year. I would actually defer more to career defensive numbers than single year stats however, because of the inherent noise due to sample size and other factors.

15fan
10-04-2006, 02:52 PM
in the case of RF it could simply be the Braves have transitioned to more of a flyball pitching staff.

Yup. Gone are the days when Maddux & Glavine would coax lazy ground balls to the IF inning after inning after inning.

Edit: I also wouldn't sweat signing Giles to a multi-year deal as part of the trade. The fact that he only has one year left before FA is what is making him available and driving the cost down. If the Reds want to negotiate a multi-year deal with the Braves before consumating a trade, that drives the price up.

An IF of Encarnacion, Phillips, Giles, and Hatteberg is fine for '07. If the team contends, great. If not, Giles can be moved at the 7/31/07 deadline. Or he can walk at the end of '07 & give the Reds comp picks in '08.

And if Wayne really wants to get creative, he could tell Schuerholz that he'd take both Giles and Andruw Jones off his hands for '07. Jones is in the same shoes as Giles - FA after '07. Between the two of them, Atlanta is on the hook for almost $20 mil in 2007. If the Braves would take Milton and a prospect or two, that would give Schuerholz about $10 million in payflex to pursue a big name FA pitcher or some bullpen help.

Red Leader
10-04-2006, 03:09 PM
And if Wayne really wants to get creative, he could tell Schuerholz that he'd take both Giles and Andruw Jones off his hands for '07. Jones is in the same shoes as Giles - FA after '07. Between the two of them, Atlanta is on the hook for almost $20 mil in 2007. If the Braves would take Milton and a prospect or two, that would give Schuerholz about $10 million in payflex to pursue a big name FA pitcher or some bullpen help.


I think that's the route Theo is going to take with Schuerholz in persuing Andruw Jones.

It'd be nice to come out of the offseason with Giles as our 2B and Coco Crisp as our starting CFer. Our up the middle defense would be greatly improved.

It'd also be nice if we could come up with one or two SP's and some bullpen help as well.

Falls City Beer
10-04-2006, 03:11 PM
I'd like to pick Giles up to move him for a starter.

registerthis
10-04-2006, 03:13 PM
I think that's the route Theo is going to take with Schuerholz in persuing Andruw Jones.

It'd be nice to come out of the offseason with Giles as our 2B and Coco Crisp as our starting CFer. Our up the middle defense would be greatly improved.

That would be great, Phillips-Giles-Crisp up the middle would be a HUGE improvement. But I don't know if the Reds possess the trading chits to acquire said players.

I'm not going to say anything more than that, lest this turn into yet another lamentation of "the trade."

Rojo
10-04-2006, 10:16 PM
For context on his defense:

Brandon Phillips 2006 (career)
FLD%: .977 (.978)
RF: 4.92 (5.15)
ZR: .822 (8.41)

Marcus Giles 2006 (career)
FLD%: .983 (.981)
RF: 4.91 (5.22)
ZR: .786 (.820)



Admittedly, I don't see many games and fielding stats are suspect but:

Ryan Freel 2006 (career)
FL% .980 (.977)
RF: 4.75 (4.93)
ZR: 9.17 (8.07)

Sign a competent, cheap back up like Craig Counsell and move on.