Padres acquire Giles, but not Kendall

Originally Published: August 26, 2003 news services

PITTSBURGH -- Brian Giles was traded by the Pirates to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday in a long-rumored deal that sends left-hander Oliver Perez, outfielder Jason Bay and a player to be named to Pittsburgh.

Brian Giles

Also Tuesday, the Padres traded All-Star outfielder Rondell White to the Royals for two pitching prospects.

Perez, a 22-year-old starter who is 4-7 with a 5.38 ERA with San Diego, and Bay, currently with Triple-A Portland, are expected to join the Pirates in time for Wednesday night's game against Florida.

The deal, in the planning stages before the deadline for trading without waivers on July 31, initially would have sent outfielder Giles and catcher Jason Kendall to the Padres for Perez, outfielder Xavier Nady and at least one other player.

However, the deal fell through when the two sides could not agree on how much of the $42 million remaining on Kendall's contract after this season the Pirates would pick up.

This deal makes perfect sense for the Padres. Brian Giles is one of the most underrated players in the game. He's posted nothing but good numbers for the four-plus years he's been in the National League.

With the Padres opening a new ballpark next season, they need something to sell fans on, and getting Giles is the proverbial step in the right direction. And Giles is a San Diego guy, so there will be an automatic connection with fans.

The Padres gave up some good young players. Oliver Perez, a left-handed starter, has a chance to be a quality pitcher, and minor-league outfielder Jason Bay has the potential to become a good major-league hitter. Earlier, Xavier Nady was said to be part of this deal, so I'm somewhat surprised to see Bay involved.

One unknown is the player to be named later. But regardless of who it is, sometimes you need to give up young players to get a quality veteran like Giles.

On the Pirates' side of this deal, it looks like they're trying to unload salary. Look at the players they've traded this season since falling out of contention: Aramis Ramirez, Kenny Lofton, Jeff Suppan, Mike Williams, now Giles -- and they've been shopping catcher Jason Kendall.

It's good that the Pirates are getting some young players in return who could blossom down the road. But for Pittsburgh fans, it must be disheartening to see the heart and soul of your team get traded away.

The talks heated up again after the Pirates backed off packaging Kendall in the trade, which sends Pittsburgh's most productive offensive player since Barry Bonds back to his hometown to play.

Giles, a San Diego native, has been one of the NL's most consistent run producers since being acquired by Cleveland for reliever Ricardo Rincon before the 1999 season, averaging 35 homers and 100-plus RBI. He is currently hitting .299 with 16 homers and 70 RBI despite sitting out a month with a knee injury.

The Pirates have not had a winning record or contended since signing Giles.

"There's a lot of disappointment -- and satisfaction," Giles said. "It's disappointing because when I signed here, I wanted to play for a championship club here, but it just didn't work out. ... But I'm excited to go back and play in my hometown."

The cash-strapped Pirates have dealt their top starting pitcher (Jeff Suppan), their top relievers (Mike Williams and Scott Sauerbeck) and two most productive position players (Aramis Ramirez and Giles) since mid-July. The trades came after owner Kevin McClatchy disclosed the team may have lost as much as $30 million since opening PNC Park in 2001.

Giles will become a centerpiece for the Padres, who have the worst record in the National League but will be moving into a new stadium, PETCO Park, next season.

White goes from a team that's been in last place since April to a team that's just one game behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central race.

White was obtained from the New York Yankees in a spring training deal for outfielder Bubba Trammell and minor league left-hander Mark Phillips.

The Padres had been looking to move White for some time. He's making $5 million this year and is eligible for free agency after the season.

The Padres will send some cash to Kansas City, but will also save some money on White's salary that they can apply to Giles, who will earn a little more than $1 million the rest of the season.

White was hitting .278 with 18 homers and 66 RBI.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.