Generally in the game of baseball, when men are pushing 40, it becomes time to hang up the cleats and take up golfing, fishing, or pickleball down in Florida. It’s difficult to accept the natural progression of creaky bones, bad backs and sore knees, but it is what it is. They get older, stiffer, and have difficulty competing with all the scrappy 21-year-old up-and-comers.
Such is not the case with Brian Giles. In fact, he’s pretty sure he can still hit and field a baseball at the big league level.
The veteran 39-year-old outfielder has inked a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who invited him to big league camp. Giles, a career .291 hitter, batted just .191 over 61 games last season with the San Diego Padres before landing on the disabled list with a bruised right knee.
In other news around the league, the New York Yankees have agreed to give Marcus Thames a minor league deal, just after finalizing a $1.1 million, one-year deal with switch-hitting outfielder Randy Winn.
Coming full circle, Thames kicked off his career with the team in 2002 before being traded to the Texas Rangers for Ruben Sierra midway through 2003. The Rangers ditched him after that season, so the soon-to-be 33-year-old outfielder has spent the last six seasons with the Detroit Tigers.
If the Yankees do add him to their 40-man roster, he’ll earn $900,000 with a shot at an additional $900,000 in performance bonuses. Thames used to hit bombs, but his numbers dropped considerably last season. In 2009, he batted .252 with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs, shaving 25 longballs and 56 RBIs off his line from 2008.
I’m not saying Giles and Thames are washed up or anything… well, I guess that is what I’m saying. Then again, it’s a new year with a new team, and anything can happen!Tweet
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