Friday, November 7, 2008

Brian Giles

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.

36 comments:

hector said...

Paul,

How does Brian help you get to a Championship level if he does not have winning experience? what has he won?
I like his batting approach, and stats, that he is a gamer and keeps the clubhouse loose... but that is just too much money for a 38 year old player on a non contender.
He is a 10/5 player so he cannot be traded in 2009, or can you tell us if he was willing to go to other clubs, but just not the red sox?

Cpt Top Off said...

I'm hoping to pre-empt Hector's inevitable comment on the silly thought that "Giles does not like winning."

I believe the club's decision was probably based on value more than anything. Brian Giles' value is easily more than $6M in 2009. There is always the possiblity of the club trading him before or during the season. He said no late last season, but that might have had just as much to do with having to accept a diminished role with the Red Sox, who were not going to play him everyday. I think there is a good chance he accepts this time around, now that he sees the club's direction.

Buying out the option and making him a free agent would have led to one of two things: 1) offer him arbitration, which he probably would accept and have to pay him substantially more than $6M; or 2) Decline to offer arbitration and receive NOTHING in compensation from another team.

Kudos to the team for making a wise decision. A definite value at $6 million, no matter which way you use it.

Chris said...

Good job! He is a great player and a valuable asset to the organization and the city. I am glad he is remaining a Padre. Lets hope he gets a ring next year.

JamieMHoyle said...

Paul,

I find it ironic that you would refer to Giles, who chose to stay in San Diego over contending for a WS Title in Boston, as a "championship player".

Is Giles a solid player? Yes. Is he a productive player? At times. But what, exactly, makes him a championship player? This is a guy who is a combined 7-27 in two playoff series as a Padre with a whopping 1 run scored and 2 rbi. He certainly doesnt have a distinguished playoff pedigree.

In fact, one could argue Brian has long had a tendency to disappear in important games. He is also a player who, at 39, has been mired in a steady decline since arriving in San Diego.

If the team is, in fact, rebuilding in 2009, then it seems to me it would make more sense to let a kid like Venable play fulltime and develop (one of the steps in your plan) into the type of championship player you are looking for.

The arguement that he can serve as a leader and role model for the other players only goes so far, especially considering the fact that he himself has told local media he does not consider himself a vocal leader. He seems to be content just working on his tan and earning his $9M for very average production.

It just doesnt make sense to say you're trading Peavy for salary reasons and then re-sign Giles for similar numbers. Paying a guy like Giles, who is in decline, 1/5 of the total budget makes no sense for a rebuilding team. it feels more like a PR move than a move geared toward improving the club.

acarpenter said...

If the rumors our close to being correct, is one player really worth 23% of the team's annual payroll? I am guessing the same logic will find common ground with Hoffman as well. Now it is at 33% for two players with no long term effect to putting a winning product on the field for years to come. A team rumored to be without Peavy, Greene, Kuouz. Why should a fan spend their hard earned dollar for a team void of any chance of success. Of course the exception is Adrian and CY. This team seems to have had a better chance when the shackles were off KT and he could make decisions he wanted to. Would you actually put attendace numbers up on the big screen that only have 4 digits? Good luck I think I will support and team that supports their fan base.

Ace2110 said...

So I guess you are all praying that a deal is done with Hoffman before the arbitration deadline because you know he'd accept it and end up making 10M.

I do hope the team's financial situation is no so bad as to have to take a deal for Peavy similar to what the Mets gave up for Santana.

Kevin Brewer said...

Was there a good reason for draggin this out, other than the possibility of a freak offseason injury.

This would not inspire confidence in me, if I was Giles.

Alex said...

jamie,

I'd like to ask exactly how Giles is in a decline? Giles was incredibly productive in 2008, he was the Padres best player, and his numbers were as good as they have been since 2005. Now, I can see the concern on whether or not he can repeat his 2008 (he is 38 after all) but the fact remains is that he was just too good to pass up.

As crazy as this might seem, Giles production last year would be worth over 20 million dollars in the FA market by a conservative calculation. Obviously you pay players for what you think they will do, not solely what they've done, but in this case the deal is too good to pass up at 6 million dollars. Even if he falls short of 08 production, he'll still be a very good deal and if he can somehow repeat his 08, he'll be an amazing bargain.

As for the whole "championship player" criticism, it's not his fault he's played on predominantly poor teams. Ted Williams and Barry Bonds never won a World Series, I don't think too many teams in history would pass on either of those guys.

For what it's worth, Brian (and our blogger here for that matter) came pretty close to winning one in 1997 against the Marlins.

The bottom line is, if the Padres could as much value per dollar as they got for Giles at every position, they would have won a few World Series by now.

JamieMHoyle said...

I agree with Hector, I just dont think it's a wise decision for a club looking to remake its self.

The only way this makes any sense at all is if they have identified a team or teams he is willing to be moved to and are planning on including him in a Peavy deal (the Cubs and Braves are rumored to be looking for a lefty bat).

Otherwise, bringing him back makes no sense for a team that has no chance of contending in 09.

hector said...

paying $10 million to Maddux did not make this team get in the playoffs either... why are you guys repeating that same mistake?

Granted, the stats are nice, but this is a team that is going nowhere, if you want the kids to follow the approach, that is why you have a batting coach.

...and I could not have a post of Brian Giles without saying that the guy did not make winning his priority. Isn't that the opposite direction of stage 4?

WebSoulSurfer said...

Jamie,

1st - Giles is not 39. And with a .306 ba and .398 obp he is not necessarily "in decline". He was healthy in 2008 and it showed. Hopefully he can stay healthy in 2009 and the Padres get the same type of production from him.

No he is not hitting home runs like he did earlier in his career, but then neither is anyone else on the Padres or any other team at Petco. His 40 doubles in 2008 show that he still has some pop in his bat.

You might want to take a look at the stats for RF in the league and where he stands on that list.

2nd - 2 series and 27 abs in which he hit .259 and had an obp of .370 is certainly not a big enough sample nor is it accurate to say "Brian has long had a tendency to disappear in important games"

3rd - If you are rebuilding with younger players then you WANT at least one veteran who exhibits the principles at the plate and in their approach to the game that you want your younger players to emulate.

You don't have to be a "vocal leader", you just have to demonstrate the way things should be done.

Giles does this exceptionally well and provides a good clubhouse presence as well. Everyone I have spoken to tells me about his ability to keep the clubhouse loose which will be more important if the team is getting younger.

Giles has never been the type "to be content just working on his tan and earning his $9M for very average production" and in my opinion that is exactly why the Padres are picking up his option. They are counting on him being an example for the kids on how to play hard every at bat and every play and to EXCEL, which is what he did in 2008.

4th -Trading Peavy has no bearing on picking up Giles option.
A) Giles at $9 million is still a bargain in the current market. His Vorp is high.

b)Peavy has tremendous value in the marketplace right now and most likely will bring a return of good young players right now that he will not bring as his salary increases.

Trading Peavy now may allow a team that is thin to both fill several holes in the lineup at the major league level and on the farm. The Padres AND the farm teams may get better as a result.

RollingWave said...

# of players that had a ring on the Phillies before 08 = 2

I'm not sure anyone in their right minds would consider So Taguchi or Tadahido Iguchi to being "champion caliber" players.

dwelling on intangibles is ridiculas, Giles is a very very productive player and the option is way below market value for a quality corner player. he had a OPS+ of 136 this year. to demonstrate how awsome that actually, David Ortiz this year was only 123. most fielding metrics also find him to be a solid if not good fielder as well.

The only downside on him is that he's pretty old, so a chance of a sudden collapse is a bit higher than you'd like. still, this is a guy that has NEVER put up a single season in his career where he hit below league average. that's awsome, he is if anything, one of the most underrated player of his generation.

Aaron said...

I understand why you would want to keep a player like Giles on board. Any guy who can deliver an .850 OPS is worth less than 10 million in today's market. However, since the Pads are not likely to contend this year and you're essentially just buying Giles' mediocre stats for another year, are you not better off just playing a young guy for less $$$$ and seeing if some seasoning materializes him into something?

I guess what I'm trying to ask is there any point in the rebuilding process that you view anyone who is not a long-term piece as expendable? I realize its a tough pill for the fan base to swallow that you're waiting for a fews years away, yet if you try to have it both ways for too long you end up like the rudderless, pre-McPhail Orioles. If your going to rebuild, should it not be a full-scale commitment?

Grif said...

Paul,

I'm not a Padres fan, but from what I know about baseball (which is not much, but leaning to the "sabermetric" side), I'm not sure how this was ever a question.

Congrats on extending maybe the best rightfielder in the game to the kind of contract I'm sure GM's dream of.

Tom said...

Why does the Padre front office insist on this mendacity? Pissing on my leg and telling me it's raining is not an effective communication strategy.

Trading Peavy clearly signals rebuilding; the front office knows that pitching, not offense, was our weak point last year. Anyone with sense knows that the rebuilding is itself the result of the owner's personal situation. How much Tiger Balm will be put in Brian Giles' jock strap during spring training to "help" him see the light and accept a trade? You're not paying Brian Giles 9m a year in hopes of pushing younger players to championship-level; the chances of a championship in 2009 are on the Peavy train, the one that left the station. You can replace him, but you're not doing it this year. Giles' option is being picked up because you hope he's a tradeable commodity, and that's a good idea. The obfuscation as to motives is not.

I'd have a lot more faith in the rebuilding process if the team had managed to draft more high-shelf pitching talent in the 4 years since The New Regime took over. We're loaded for bear when it comes to future 5th starters and swingmen. Championship-quality arms, to borrow a phrase -- there are only a few, and they haven't reached even High A yet, and attrition will take its toll.

Cpt Top Off said...

Jamie, please provide evidence to support your claim that Giles disappears in big games. And don't include RBI, which we all know tells very little about anything other than luck. Also, his OBP in those playoff games is a respectable .333, though 7 games isn't anywhere close to being a reliable sample size.

hector said...

Cpt Top Off,

There you go again with RBIs are not important... 95% of the time you need an RBI to get a run in.

If luck in involved in an RBI, lets try to find some lucky players instead. Having an RBI guy is like having a ball hawk for a safety. They take advantage of the opportunity, Giles has not been doing that, as evidenced by his batting average with runners in scoring position .288 and risp and 2 outs .250

You must share a tanning bed with giles huh? or does he give you Padre hugs?

He is a pretty good player, a gamer, but winning is not his priority. The only reason I believe they brought him back was to trade him around the All Star break. It is that simple.

hector said...

Paul,

How come the Padres have not been active in signing Cuban players? Alexei Ramirez was great this season, and now Dayan Viciedo is available, what are the odds the Padres get involved?

Hector

Nathan said...

this seems like it was almost surely one of the easier decisions the front office was to make this offseason, and it's hard to believe there was ever serious thought to the option not being picked up. Giles was on of the 10 best hitters in the NL last year year. We were already committed to him for $3 million whether we kept him or not, so $6 million more is a bargain for someone of his talent. Then you take into account that the team can't decline his option then offer him arbitration because they'd end up paying him several million dollars more than the $9 million they are going to pay him now. The question then becomes: are they really willing to let go of such a good productive player who wants to play for them and is good in the clubhouse, receiving no compensation in return, and having to pay him $3 million just to go away? Anyone who would answer yes to that is surely just racist against orange people.

Brian Giles is an asset to this team, and if he has another year like the year he had this year, the team should seriously consider re-signing him. At a discounted rate, of course.

We aren't going to win a championship next year anyway, so all this talk about whether he's a championship level player or not is a little silly.

Columbia Sports Card said...

Just because he's a 10/5 doesn't mean he can't be traded. He just has to approve the trade. By picking up the option, the Padres still have a chance to get compensation that they otherwise wouldn't have gotten if they declined it. Many teams would be interested in Brian's services for "only" a pro-rated 9 million.

Christopher said...

To me, with a team rebuilding, with payroll being cut, this doesn't make sense to me either.
Intangibles, such as teaching young players has not worked thus far. I start to wonder at what point is the coaching supposed to take the place of the intangibles Giles provides.
As a player, I understand liking Giles. I do not for the life of me understand bringing him back for $9 million when the team is rebuilding. Following moneyball logic, allocating such a chunk of payroll in an asset which will not be a future producing entity, from a statistical standpoint, is a poor decision.
Part of me still resents the Bay trade. Patience back then would have saved us money and probably had our team closer to competing at the present. Players from Matthews Jr. to Nady to Bay to Perez were all shipped out with short termed growth in mind. It backfired. As long as Giles is penciled in on that line-up sheet, I will only continue to be reminded of the past mistakes and the team holding on to the past rather than simply saying "forget it, let's truly rebuild."

Cpt Top Off said...

Hector, I suppose you also believe wins and losses are the most telling stats for pitchers. Come join the rest of us in the 21st century.

Also, Alexei Ramirez was NOT great this season. .317 OBP < great. He might have the worst plate discipline in all of baseball.

Melvin Nieves said...

Hey Paul, question about the budget:

Sandy Alderson has confirmed the budget could drop this year. I understand in a rebuilding year why this is the case.

My question is, what happens to that money? My guess is part of it will go towards the draft and international signings, but if the numbers I've heard are true, the budget savings between 2008 and the supposed 2009 numbers will be more than what could reasonably spent in those areas.

Assuming a sort of payroll equilibrium to be near what we've seen the last few years, is it reasonable to expect the drop in payroll to be "made up" above the equilibrium in a year when a marginal win will be more valuable?

Thanks. -Melvin

sanstodo said...

It's pretty obvious why the Padres exercised the option; DePodesta states it at the end of the post. Declining the option would have likely led to Giles accepting arbitration at a higher cost or the Padres not offering arbitration and receiving no return. It's likely that Giles will be shopped this winter. He's still a solid OBP contributor and clubhouse leader who can be a useful part to a contender. Plus, his contract is reasonable without a long-term commitment. I'm sure Towers will be able to get a reasonable return.

It is true that the Padres are unlikely to contend this year. Exercising Giles' option is another sign that the front office is going about rebuilding in an intelligent manner. There's no reason to lose a productive player like Giles without getting a decent ROI.

sanstodo said...

Also, please don't misuse the term "Moneyball." The book was about finding market inefficiencies and potential arbitrage situations. As far as I can tell, it doesn't really apply to this situation since Giles seems to be priced correctly ($9 million for an OPS+ of 136 seems reasonable to me) and doesn't seem like a candidate to be overvalued by other teams.

Just a pet peeve of mine since I liked Moneyball but constantly see its themes muddied intentionally and unintentionally.

WebSoulSurfer said...

I really have not seen anything from management that says "We are rebuilding".

Paul, correct me if I am wrong.

What I see is a team that is retooling a team that had record injuries and below par play from several positions including SS, Catcher and the bullpen.

The outfield was not a weakness and Giles led the charge hitting .306 with a .398 obp and 40 doubles.

Adrian Gonzalez had a great year and Luis Rodriguez and Edgar Gonzalez showed they were able backups.

Greene's production fell off, injuries and poor play decimated the catching corp but did give us the opportunity to see how our young catchers could do and Hundley stepped up late in teh year.

The team used a MLB record 32 pitchers because of injuries in 2008 and the bullpen was horrible as a result. If just one guy can step up and hold down on the 7th inning job, the Padres would have a nice 7-8-9punch.

For those that say the Padres can't afford Giles if they are rebuilding, note this:
With Giles option picked up, Hoffman signed at $4 million, and all the current Padres and the arbitration eligible players resigned and NOT trading Peavy, Kouzmanoff or Greene (all of whom I believe will be traded this off season) the Padres Payroll will still be under $50 million. That is a $23+ million reduction from last season and still $5 million under the rumored $55 million budget.

So please, stop all the nonsense that picking up Giles doesn't make sense if the Padres are rebuilding.

The team NEEDS to be retooled.

The Payroll will STILL be significantly lower WITH Giles, Peavy and Greene still on the team.

Trading Peavy, Greene and Kouzmanoff could give the Padres several very good young players to fill multiple holes so they can be both younger and better with less payroll demands in 2009 and beyond.

stephen said...

Christopher,

You're fired unless you repent for including Gary Matthews Jr. in your last post.

Backfired? Gosh, I don't want to be guilty of dredging up all that again, except to note the Pads' did have some winning seasons and playoff appearances (yes, I know we should feel ashamed about all of it.) And Cameron was a better overall player than Nady for those two seasons.

Hector,

On the RBI thing: that train left the station like five years ago. I'm still wondering what is mediocre about a .398 on-base pct and above-average defense in RF (second-best RF this year, according to The Fielding Bible crew)

Alex said...

Re: Giles 2008 and future trade possibility

Just another link to show you how many people think Giles is valuable:
http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2008/11/5/654318/best-right-fielders-of-200

Certainly doesn't have to be accepted as fact, but they list Giles as THE best RF in the game last year.

In other Giles news, apparently he also said he wouldn't necessarily veto a trade next year

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2008/nov/07/padres-pick-9-million-option-giles-2009/?padres

Seems truly impossible to not see why this extension was the biggest no brainer of the Padres off-season now

Ross said...

CAN WE PLEASE HAVE A TREVOR POST!!

The EveryServer said...

So now that the organization has severed ties with Trevor Hoffman will you be offering him arbitration in the hopes he declines and the Pads receive a compensatory pick for him? Also, are there any plans on competing next year? Congrats on the promotion.

Pat said...

Paul, Congratulations on the promotion. I can't wait to hear the spin on why an iconic player who has given everything to this organization has just been dumped.

bill.strunk said...

Paul,
Off the Giles topic: can you explain the reasoning behind pulling Hoffman's contract offer? I'm incredibly disappointed that the team is not doing all they can to keep a sure hall of famer around in a year in which one of the biggest fan favorites is being shopped.

Tom said...

Suggested opening line for the next blog post:

"On Monday we treated a Padre icon like a piece of dog crap we accidentally stepped in. Hoffman, who had stuck with team through multiple rebuilding projects, who never ducked responsibility after a blown save, and whose work in the community helped make for Fire Sales and an embarrassingly long list of marketing mishaps, will now finish his distinguished career in another uniform. We've chosen to blame his agent's leaking our salary offer for the rescinding of said offer; other choices bandied around in the staff meeting were "He ignored us at a party" and "We caught him looking at Mrs. Alderson's rear end."

This may not be a new low for the franchise, but it's definitely the low point of the Moores Era. Congratulations, New Regime. It's one thing to cut payroll because the money's dried up. People can understand that - not all people, but many of them. Acting like a total jerk while cutting payroll is both unnecessary and counterproductive.

DANIEL said...

Use the Giles money to keep Peavy until the trade deadline. Tell Atlanta to take a hike. Looking at the stats of those players they are offering makes me sick. This sure smells like another Fred Mcgriff trade. I will be madder then a pepper shack if you guys trade Peavy for those players mentioned on MLB rumors. If that is all you can get for him now, keep him. Yunnel Esobar will be another Quilvio Veras. This will be a major league mistake trading Peavy to Atlanta for basically a bag of baseballs. Atlanta does not want to include any top prospects then tell them to go to hell. This makes me sick. Please do not trade Kyle Blanks.

mweldon said...

I read in the paper today that you were promoted. Congratulations!

hector said...

Christopher,

Is the fielding bible calculated on the same computer that said the Padres would win 90 games?
Giles gets very good reads on the ball and has very good instincts, but I have seem more respect for rented car than Giles arm. He is an automatic first to third, and has the worst arm of any RF.

Cpt top off,

Alexei Ramirez made his debut this year, and he had a slugging % of .475, played 2B, SS and CF. Batted .290 as well. He is under club control for up to 5 more years, so I would say that was a great investment!
Wins and losses are very important, after all, that is why they play the game. Great pitchers figure out a way to get that win, either batting, bunting or lasting longer to avoid a blown save.

Paul,

Congratulations on the promotion!