With all of the ideas thrown around over the last few days about who should be acquired and who should go, I am surprised to have not seen more discussion about Brian Giles. Two things were made fairly obvious in the loss to the Dodgers: We need a legitimate leadoff hitter and a productive right fielder. Giles takes care of both of those needs, and if signed or traded for would arguably be our best outfielder. Lets take a look at Giles and his situation.
The Padres have the right to bring him back for another year for nine million dollars. The Padres are also an awful team that would like nothing more than to trade away some of it's veterans for young players who could be of help a year or two down the road. On September 30th MLB.com reported that they are leaning towards bringing him back, but either way he should be high on Hendry's list this off-season. The other player I would like to see on the Cubs next year is Adam Dunn, but bringing him in would be pretty complicated. Getting Giles should not be nearly as tough or require extra shuffling of the roster.
Despite playing in San Diego for the past five years, Giles has been an extremely productive outfielder, yet no one pays much attention. This past year, at thirty seven years old, he showed that he hasn't lost much. His .306/.398/.456 line is outstanding and would look even better if he didn't play half of his games in Petco. He had twelve home runs and it's not ridiculous to think he could hit 20+ if he played half of his games in Wrigley. To echo something I said before, he appears to be a perfect fit for the Cubs. While he doesn't possess the speed most leadoff hitters do, his OBP skills are off the charts good. I don't know about you, but I would love to have a leadoff hitter that gets on base forty percent of the time and has 30 doubles/ 20 home-run power. Playing Giles in right would allow us to move Fukudome to center and still have a serviceable defender in right. He is no Fukudome with the glove, but he isn't awful either. He's also a lefty to boot.
So how to get him. Fittingly enough, the Padres are weak in the exact spot the Cubs have spare parts, in middle infield and at catcher. The emergence of Soto has made almost all of their minor league catchers expendable and the Padres are in definite need of a real catcher. Josh Bard and Michael Barrett are underwhelming and have little upside, and even better, they are both free agents. Their youngster, Nick Hundley, did little to impress in his sixty games with the big league club. UP the middle they are even worse. Khalil Greene had a season to forget, posting an awful line of .213/.260/./339 over 105 games. His BA was never his calling card, but his power was and without that he's almost worthless. His defense never was as good as advertised. Their two second basemen, Luis Rodriguez and Edgar Gonzalez did virtually nothing to impress the organization, leaving the team in need of a productive bat at the keystone. The Cubs have quite a few players to work with here. If the teams were to work a deal out, DeRosa would become the full time second baseman, leaving Theriot, Fontenot and Cedeno to compete for AB's at short. I wouldn't mind parting with one or two of those to get Giles and maybe something else in return. I believe we also have a nice catching prospect in the minor leagues who could tempt the Padres.
I may be off base here, but is it just me or does Giles feel like a perfect fit for this team? The Padres seem to need exactly what the Cubs can afford to lose. I hope Hendry tries long and hard to bring in Giles.
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