Marcus Giles, Padres close to deal

SAN DIEGO -- Free agent second baseman Marcus Giles and the
San Diego Padres were closing in on a deal that would allow him to
play with his older brother, Brian, on their hometown team.

Brian Giles Brian Giles

Marcus Giles Marcus Giles

"We're putting in a lot of time and effort to get a deal
done," Giles' agent, Joe Bick, said by phone from Cincinnati on

Bick declined to divulge details.

Padres general manager Kevin Towers also said the sides were
nearing a deal.

The Giles brothers grew up in El Cajon, just east of San Diego.

Brian Giles, the Padres' right fielder, came over in a trade
with Pittsburgh on Aug. 26, 2003.

The Braves declined to offer Marcus Giles a contract last week,
deciding they could no longer afford him under their tightening

Braves general manager John Schuerholz said he couldn't risk
going to arbitration with Giles, who made $3.85 million in 2006 and
likely would have commanded over $5 million for next season.

It's unclear how much he'd get from the Padres, and if he'd take
the so-called San Diego Discount.

The 28-year-old Giles made the All-Star Game in 2003, his first
full season as a starter. He wound up hitting a career-best .316
with 21 homers and 69 RBI -- all career highs.

But Giles was plagued by injuries and clearly uncomfortable when
the Braves moved him into the leadoff spot for 2006, seeking a
replacement for Rafael Furcal. The second baseman slumped to .262
with 11 homers, 60 RBI and 10 stolen bases, his disappointing
season coinciding with the end of Atlanta's record streak of 14
straight division titles.

The Padres could ask Marcus Giles to bat leadoff to replace Dave
Roberts, who left as a free agent and signed an $18 million,
three-year deal with San Francisco.

The Padres traded second baseman Josh Barfield to the Cleveland
Indians for infielder Kevin Kouzmanoff and right-hander Andrew
Brown. Kouzmanoff is expected to play third.

The Padres also held onto second baseman Todd Walker when he
accepted the team's offer of salary arbitration last week.