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Tuesday, November 01, 2005


St. Brian?

At the risk of being unpopular (more so), I feel the need to express my personal concerns over signing Brian Giles. The darling of the free agent market this year, he’s been coveted by Cards fans as replacement to Larry Walker, and the left handed hitting angel that will deliver a World Champion flag to a spiffy new Busch Stadium. I’m dubious. There’s no debating Giles’ numbers, they’re great. His OBP consistently tops .400, and his OPS rarely goes south of .900. His home run numbers have dropped through the last three seasons, a trend that started before he called spacious Petco Park home, but he remains a consistently good hitter. However, Giles turns 35 in January, hardly making him decrepit, but definitely making his age a factor. The hustling, committed style of play Giles brings to the field enters into the equation as well by increasing the chance of injury to his aging body. The risk of injury, in and of itself, is hardly the most compelling reason to stay out of the Giles sweepstakes, but I would definitely keep it mind when talking contracts with him. A brand new, hot-shot right fielder sitting on the bench with some kind of back or knee injury can hardly be considered part of a championship formula. Didn’t we have a multi-million dollar, big name right fielder this year? How did that work out for us in the end? Part two of the argument comes down to money. Giles made $8 million with the Padres last season. Being the class of the free agent market means teams will be tripping over themselves to push that number up. Accountants and lawyers for several teams sit ready to write Giles a contract for two, probably three years at $10 million or more per season. That’s insane. If the Cardinals sign Giles, be prepared for some quality “rebuilding” time down the road. Of course, things might not work out that way. (Anyone miss having Jim Leyland as a special assignment scout yet? You will.) The Giles auction presents a tough choice for the Cards. One the one hand, the roster we have now offers an immediate shot at a championship, and the Cards have been chasing that and coming close for the better part of the last 10 years. On the other hand, the team has to invest a boat load of cash right now, with no guarantees, and face an outfield staffed by ghosts come 2008. But there might be another way… [update] one thing I would propose is going after Aubrey Huff in the trade market. He's younger, proven and could be the kind of player that would thrive in the Cards' system. And reducing the fans' pain of rebuilding when the geriatrics in the OF burn out soon. Cards fandom, weigh in. Do you think Giles is a good idea? Good idea at 3 years, $30 million?
I have no problem with Brian Giles other than he's old, and for his age, he'll cost far too much. The cards should just pass.

Of course I'm the guy who wants to see the corners platooned by Taguchi, jRod, Gall, and Skip, so clearly my judgement can be questioned.
i'm really thinking more along the lines of pursuing someone like Aubrey Huff, younger, capable players that could really thrive in the Cards system...for several years.
Ya, Huff, Dunn, et all would all be worth a look--I wouldn't mind Jock bidding up the price on Giles, however, to drain the cash from the other teams couriting him.
Hey, remember Ron Gant?
Gant, eh? Brian Jordan is available too!
Can't we just go to Atlanta and abduct Francoeur?
I thought Adam Dunn was Ron Gant, at least in terms of his strikeouts. Unless it's Wily Mo, or maybe Freel (and he would have to come REAL cheap), I'll pass on any outfielders from Cincy.

Given the choice between a Jacque Jones or Huff, I couldn't say.
You'd rather have Huff for 7 million(plus a likely raise after the season, when he's a FA) than Giles for 10 mil, to say nothing of whatever the Devil Rays would want in a deal for Huff? They'd want Reyes for sure, probably more. That doesn't make sense to me.

Huff is supposedly a butcher defensively, too, and that doesn't fit our style.
I think you could get him w/out giving up Reyes. Give them Nunez, as they'll need a reliable, inexpensive guy at 2nd or 3rd to go with Upton at SS (or even if he winds up at 2nd, Nunez can play SS). Throw in Marquis as they need a young-ish, experieced hurler, and maybe even Chris Duncan.
Nunez == free agent.

Ron Gant--career high OPB .383

(career avg = .336)

Adam Dunn--career avg OPB .380

(career low = .354).

Dunn is WAY better than Gant ever was, even if you factor in the stupid ballpark in Cincinatti.
I would even offer Wainwright in a trade for Huff. There I said it. I wasn't comfortable with the thought at first, but the more I thought about it...
I'm assuming they could sign Nunez for $1.5 mil. Luna would be a good throw in as well, young guy, got some potential...
Giles would be the perfect fit for St. Louis. Yes he will be 35 this January, but can run circles around players much younger. His great eye for the right pitch and consistent OBP > 400 would make Giles and Pujols a deadly 3-4 combination that the Cardinals should not pass up
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