Giles could be Boston-bound
Outfielder claimed by Sox; Team has 48 hours to make deal
CHICAGO -- Maybe Jason Bay wasn't the last of Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein's acquisitions to bolster the club for the stretch run.
In a development that was first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune and then confirmed by several other media outlets, the Red Sox claimed veteran outfielder Brian Giles off of waivers from the Padres. According to the Boston Globe, the claim was put in on Wednesday. The Red Sox have exclusive negotiating rights with the Padres for 48 hours, meaning the situation should be resolved by Friday.
If a trade can't be worked out, the 37-year-old Giles would stay with the Padres.
Giles confirmed the report to media members at Shea Stadium following San Diego's 5-3 loss to the Mets on Thursday afternoon, saying he had spoken by phone with Padres general manager Kevin Towers, and added that he might know more by the time the Padres landed in Colorado late Thursday night.
"They are a good team," Giles, a left-handed hitter, said of the Red Sox.
Joe Bick, who represents Giles, declined to comment on the matter. Teams are not allowed to comment publicly on waiver claims, otherwise they face a severe fine from Major League Baseball.
Though Giles wouldn't start for a Boston team that has Bay in left, Jacoby Ellsbury in center, J.D. Drew in right and David Ortiz at designated hitter, he would give the team an established bat off the bench, not to mention injury protection.
Ortiz came off the disabled list on July 25 after missing seven weeks with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. Though the left-handed slugger felt some "clicking" in the wrist in his last at-bat on Monday, he was fine in the ensuing two games against the Royals.
Adding another wrinkle to the situation is that the Red Sox are one of eight teams Giles can veto a trade to.
"It just comes down to comfort, you know?" Giles said. "This thing could go in a million different directions. ... Right now, it's very general."
Conceivably, the Red Sox could have simply put in the waiver claim to block their fellow postseason contenders -- the Angels and Rays -- from getting Giles. But the Boston Herald, citing a baseball source, reported that the Red Sox have legitimate interest in Giles and that was their only motive for making the claim.
The Padres hold a club option of $9 million on Giles for 2009, which comes with a $3 million buyout.
Giles said that one factor he would weigh as it pertains to a trade to the Red Sox is how he would fit into the club's plans for 2009. That could be a sticking point, as Bay, Ellsbury and Drew are all under contract for 2009, as is backup center fielder Coco Crisp.
Giles is batting .295 with six home runs and 37 RBIs this season. Currently in his sixth season with the Padres, he has become comfortable in San Diego.
"It's a business -- main thing," Giles said. "Like I said, it's so general right now, there is nothing to report other than I have been claimed, and that's it."
Giles, a two-time All-Star, has played in 1,742 games, hitting .293 with 279 homers and 1,029 RBIs.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Jon Blau, an associate reporter for MLB.com, contributed to this report from New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.