San Diego outfielder Brian Giles took plenty of heat -- even having his commitment to winning questioned -- after he vetoed an Aug. 7 waiver deal from the last-place Padres to the playoff-bound Red Sox.
In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune's Tom Krasovic Friday after the Padres picked up Giles's $9-million option for next season, he explained that he had legitimate reasons for blocking the trade: he didn't think he'd get much playing time in Boston, and he feared he would be traded after the season. Writes Krasovic:
. . . What Giles didn't reveal until Friday is his belief that Red Sox GM Theo Epstein had told [his agent, Joe] Bick that the Sox probably would have traded Giles during this offseason. By eating part of Giles's '09 salary, the wealthy Sox likely could have built a broad trade market for [the outfielder], whose career on-base percentage [is] .404. Because a trade to Boston would have kept Giles from gaining full trade-veto rights as a player with 10 years in the majors and five consecutive years with the same club – a rarely obtained hammer that he got by staying with the Padres through August – Giles could not have prevented the Red Sox from sending him to any club of their choosing this offseason. He was able to veto the trade because Boston was one of eight clubs on his no-trade list.
“Playing time going down was the first thing that concerned me,” Giles said Friday. “I would have been on the bench for three or four weeks. I wanted to play.
“The Boston thing, the way it was explained to me, Theo was very honest with Joe. He said there was a good possibility I might be shipped out after the season in a trade."
In retrospect, Giles probably wouldn't have lacked playing time in Boston. Twenty days after he rejected the deal, the Red Sox acquired Mark Kotsay from the Atlanta Braves. Kotsay, like Giles a patient, lefthanded-hitting outfielder/first baseman with declining power, got 88 at-bats in the regular season in Boston, then 40 more in the postseason.
(Hat tip for the link: Sons of Sam Horn.)