Rox talk to Giles about second base

Rox talk to Giles about second base

DENVER -- The Rockies have approached former All-Star Marcus Giles about competing for their opening at second base.

The Rockies are prepared to see if one of their in-house candidates is ready to start in the Majors, but general manager Dan O'Dowd has said he would not turn down a chance to throw a veteran into the competition. The Rockies also have had success rekindling careers after bad seasons.

Giles, 29, fits what the Rockies seek.

Giles was chosen to the All-Star Game in 2003, when he batted a career-best .316 for the Braves. But after hitting .311 and .296 the following two seasons, Giles fell to .262 in 2006. He signed a one-year, $3.75 million contract with the Padres for 2007, but hit .229 and was released on Oct. 26.

"We've had some discussions with the Rockies about Marcus," said his agent, Joe Bick, who declined to discuss the specific nature of the talks or reveal what other teams are interested. "It's in the very early stages of those."

The Rockies are confident all three middle infielders they have -- Clint Barmes, a one-time starter at shortstop; Omar Quintanilla, who has seen brief action with the Rockies the past two seasons; and Jayson Nix, coming off a strong Triple-A season -- can handle the job defensively.

All could be a defensive improvement over Kazuo Matsui, who has signed with the Astros. It's not because Matsui was deficient. It's that he missed time early in the season with a back injury, and he had to protect his back at times.

The Rockies have talked of trying Ian Stewart and Jeff Baker, two power hitters who have had trouble breaking into the lineup, at second base as well.

Adding competition at second and for the back of the rotation, where top prospect Franklin Morales has to prove he is ready for a full Major League season, are the Rockies' two big projects as the holiday season approaches.

The Rockies completed Major League contracts with right-hander Kip Wells and left-hander Mark Redman on Wednesday. The club also is pursuing a Minor League deal with righty Victor Zambrano.

A reported two-year, $7.5 million contract with right-handed reliever Luis Vizcaino also has yet to be completed.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.