UPDATE: ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that Giles will earn $500,000 if he lands on the big league roster. The contract also contains another $200,000 worth of performance-based bonuses.
9:18am: According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers have signed outfielder Brian Giles to a minor league contract.
Included in the deal is an invitation to spring training, though it’s no sure bet that Giles will crack the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. The club already has outfielders Jason Repko, Xavier Paul and Reed Johnson headed to spring camp and Giles might just be the least valuable of the bunch. The 39-year-old left-handed swinger batted just .191/.277/.271 in 225 at-bats with the Padres last year. He was limited to 61 games due to a knee contusion and remains a major injury risk heading into the 2010 season.
Oh, and if you’re keeping score at home, Giles is also a poor defensive outfielder.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.