Padres sign Giles to one-year contract

SAN DIEGO -- First there were the Alomars, then the Gwynns,
and now the San Diego Padres have the Giles brothers.

At the very least, the Padres should be a livelier bunch with
the addition of second baseman Marcus Giles, who was reunited
Wednesday with his older brother Brian on their hometown team.

Working out a deal with the Padres was a no-brainer once Marcus
Giles wasn't offered a contract last week by the Atlanta Braves. He
got a one-year deal worth $3.75 million, with a club option for

He'll take over at second for Josh Barfield, who was traded to
Cleveland, and is the leading candidate to replace Dave Roberts as
the team's leadoff batter. Roberts signed with San Francisco.

The acquisition also moves the Padres' clubhouse a step closer
toward Animal House.

"They are free-spirited," general manager Kevin Towers said of
the Giles brothers. "They like to have a good time, but when it
comes gametime, these guys are very fierce competitors and want to

The Giles brothers grew up in El Cajon, just east of San Diego.
Brian, the Padres' right-fielder, is seven years older than Marcus.

Asked if they've ever played together, Brian said: "Just

To which little brother replied: "I won't be as difficult, I

Brian Giles graduated from Granite Hills High in 1989 and was
drafted by the Cleveland Indians.

"He's 12, I'm 19 and I'm gone," Brian Giles said. "We've been
apart a long time. I think it's pretty amazing that we're as close
as we are. It shows the bond we have. It's going to be fun to get
to hang out with him for a full year."

Brian Giles is the Padres' clubhouse prankster with a wicked
sense of humor.

Asked what his family thought of the brotherly reunion, Brian
said: "The first thing my mother was saying was, 'Oh gosh, you
guys get to shower again together."'

"I tried to get him not to say that," Marcus said. "Man, that
was a long time ago.

"The clubhouse will definitely be fun," the younger Giles
added. "But that's what you need in here anyway. You need to have
fun in this game. The season's way too long to take every second as
every second, you've got to take it as a whole. The more we have
fun inside there, the looser we will be on the field, and our
performance will show from that."

Towers said Marcus Giles is like his brother in the way they
play the game.

"I think they're a competitive bunch. I think these two will
push one another," Towers said.

"In my short time in the major leagues, I haven't been taken
out harder at second base during a double play than by him, about
three different times," Marcus Giles said of his brother. "I
guess that just goes to show you how much he's out there to win. I
guess I'm the same way. He's just lucky he's not playing second."

Brian Giles remembers knocking his little brother
head-over-heels at second base once.

"He gets up and says, 'That's two,'" Brian Giles said. "He
did turn the double play."

In 2003, his first full season as a starter, Marcus Giles was
selected as the starting second baseman for the NL All-Star team
but was unable to play due to injury. He wound up hitting a
career-best .316 with 21 homers and 69 RBIs -- all career highs.

Marcus Giles, 28, has been plagued by injuries and was 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 RBIs and 10 stolen bases, his
disappointing season coinciding with the end of Atlanta's record
streak of 14 straight division titles.

"He has to prove he can stay healthy," Brian Giles said.
"When he's healthy, he's one of the best second basemen in the

The two-time defending NL West champion Padres hope Marcus Giles
can do some damage with the bat and perk up an offense that
disappeared in the playoffs.

"What I like about him is he's capable of hitting a home run, a
double, stealing a base, drawing a walk," new manager Bud Black
said. "He's a complete player."

Roberto Alomar and his brother, Sandy Jr., played briefly
together with the Padres in 1988 and 1989. Chris Gwynn played with
brother Tony during the 1996 season.

Marcus Giles will have a salary of $3.25 million in 2007 and can
earn another $1 million in performance bonuses based on plate
appearances. His 2008 salary would be $4 million, with a $500,000