Dodgers agree to terms with Brian Giles

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giles swinging.JPGUPDATE: 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.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.