Today we exercised the option on Brian Giles.
I know there's been a lot of debate here about whether or not the Club should pick up this option. In the end, Brian's combination of offense, defense, leadership, and strong desire to remain in San Diego made the decision pretty easy. To a large degree, I think Brian's overall contribution to our team over the past few seasons has been overlooked, or at least discounted.
As I've written in this space, we're sticking with our plan of developing our own talent, but as more and more players make it to stage three (big leaguers), it is players like Brian who will help us get to stage four (championship players). Even though we're committed to going with our homegrown players moving forward, it can make a significant difference for the team to have a rock or two in the middle of the lineup that can be counted on for quality at-bat after quality at-bat.
Some readers have asked about draft pick compensation if we had declined the option. Brian is a Type A Free Agent this winter, meaning that the signing team would give either their first or second round pick to us (or their third in a rare case). If the signing team's first round selection was between picks 1 and 15, they would give us their second round pick. If the signing team was picking from 16-30, they would give us their first round pick. Additionally, we would receive a compensation pick in between the first and second round. However...
That all assumes that we would offer Brian arbitration, and that he would decline it. In this case, that was highly unlikely. Therefore, had we declined the option, we would have received no compensation for Brian.
Most importantly, however, we're happy to have him for another year.