I would love to see Marcus Giles roaming around second base for the Reds if the price is right.
Braves' Giles could join his brother in S.D.
Ken Rosenthal / FOXSports.com
Posted: 7 hours ago
The emergence of Padres rookie second baseman Josh Barfield last season seemingly ended the chances of Marcus Giles joining his older brother, Brian, in San Diego.
Not so fast.
The Braves are open to trading Marcus Giles, and the Padres' plan if they acquired the younger Giles would be to play him at third base,
Marcus, 28, would gladly move from second to third if it meant uniting with Brian, 35, a source close to the brothers said.
The Braves, seeking an eighth-inning bridge to closer Bob Wickman, likely are interested in Padres right-handed reliever Scott Linebrink, whom they tried to acquire last summer.
The Indians are another possible suitor for Marcus. The Reds could acquire him and move second baseman Brandon Phillips to shortstop. The Cardinals and Giants are among the other clubs with openings at second.
The problem with obtaining Marcus Giles, especially for budget-minded teams such as the Indians and Reds, is that he's becoming less productive and more expensive.
Marcus Giles struggled when the Braves made him their leadoff hitter last season. Yet, his salary could rise from $3.85 million to the $5.5 million range in his final year of arbitration. And, after next season, he will be a free agent.
The Braves could always decline to offer Giles a contract, but then the team would receive nothing in return. A trade makes more sense, and the Padres represent a logical fit.
Among the Padres' other possibilities at third, free agent Aramis Ramirez might be too expensive, Japanese third baseman Akinori Iwamura could go to a higher bidder and the White Sox's Joe Crede and the Astros' Morgan Ensberg might be out of reach in trades.
The Braves pursued Linebrink in a proposed deal for third baseman Wilson Betemit last summer. The Padres balked, preferring to keep their bullpen intact, and the Braves traded Betemit to the Dodgers for reliever Danys Baez and infielder Willy Aybar.
If the Braves traded Marcus Giles, Martin Prado, 23, would be one internal option at second. Shortstop Yunel Escobar, who has yet to play above Class AA, might be even more intriguing; he's showing significant offensive progress in the Arizona Fall League.
NO DUNN DEAL
Not long ago, the Astros would have jumped at the chance to acquire Reds left fielder Adam Dunn, who grew up outside of Houston.
The Astros, while intent on adding a slugger, do not consider Dunn an appealing trade option, a major-league source says.
Dunn led the majors with 194 strikeouts last season. He has hit 40 or more homers in each of the past three seasons, but his on-base/slugging percentage has declined in each of the last two. His defense and conditioning are further concerns, and the long-term presence of Lance Berkman would prevent the Astros from moving Dunn to first base.
The Astros reportedly are one of the teams attempting to trade for the Yankees' Gary Sheffield, but they're more likely to sign a free agent such as Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Lee.
MULDER: NOT HURTING ON MARKET
Free-agent left-hander Mark Mulder, recovering from shoulder surgery, is drawing interest from multiple clubs, including his most recent team, the World Series champion Cardinals.
If healthy, Mulder, 29, might have joined left-hander Barry Zito and right-hander Jason Schmidt as the jewels of the free-agent class. Instead, teams now view him as an attractive short-term gamble.
Mulder is expected to begin a throwing program in early January and pitch in early March, according to his agent, Gregg Clifton.
Another of Clifton's clients, free-agent outfielder Luis Gonzalez, made news Friday when he had lunch with Indians general manager Mark Shapiro.
The Giants were the first team to call about Gonzalez after he filed for free agency. They will need a new left fielder if they do not re-sign Barry Bonds.
Ken Rosenthal is FOXSports.com's senior baseball writer.