Is it just me, or have the Dodgers signed about three times as many veterans to minor-league deals as usual? I half expect to see Lenny Harris, Tim Teufel, and Paul O’Neill coming in next. The trend continues with today’s entry in “Who Can Be the Most Old and Busted?”, Brian Giles, reports Ken Gurnick at Dodgers.com.
As you’d probably expect, I don’t have particularly high hopes for Giles to stick. He’s 39, hit just .191 last season – when he wasn’t missing half the year with an arthritic right knee, because “arthritic” is always a word you want to hear when it comes to elderly outfielders – and is a lousy defender, ranking below-average in UZR at all three outfield spots over his career.
That said, 2009 was the first year of Giles’ career in which he had a below-average OPS, and his 2008 was actually pretty good – .306/.398/.456 in 653 plate appearances, so what the hell – toss him a few spring training at-bats and see if he can be the 5th outfielder/main lefty power bat. Since there’s no guarantee here, it’s probably worth the time to see. Not that I really think he has anything left.
What really interests me, though, is Gurnick’s mention of Ned Colletti’s previous interest in Giles:
Giles nearly was general manager Ned Colletti’s first acquisition after he took over the Dodgers in the winter of 2005, but the San Diego native re-signed with the Padres and Colletti turned to shortstop Rafael Furcal.
Oh, what could have been! Between 2006-08, Giles hit .280/.378/.423 in the batting graveyard of PetCo Park, but more importantly, if Colletti had spent big money on a free agent outfielder for 2006, it might have saved us all the pain of the Juan Pierre era.