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10/30/08 10:59 AM EST

Padres must make decision on Giles

Club leaning toward picking up veteran's option for '09

SAN DIEGO -- The 10-day window for the Padres to decide if they're going to pick up the option on veteran outfielder Brian Giles contract officially started Thursday, though it's unlikely the team will need the full 10 days to reach a decision.

San Diego general manager Kevin Towers reiterated recently what he has said since the end of the season - -that the Padres were leaning toward picking up the $9 million on the 37-year-old instead of buying him out for $3 million.

"This guy really makes our offense go," Towers said recently. "He's the type of hitter we like to have, especially in this ballpark. Each and every day he plays hard, plays a hard right field.

Giles, who turns 38 in January, finished seventh in the National League in hitting (.306) and sixth in on-base percentage (.398), and he also closed the season with his most hits (171) since 2004, when he had 173.

Giles reached base in 34 of the last 35 games of the regular season, and he hit .340 in August and .323 in September.

Joe Bick, Giles' agent, hasn't heard much from the Padres in recent weeks, though he said that's not entirely unusual since there's no negotiation involved: The team either picks up the option or it doesn't.

"We have a pretty good sense of what the Padres are going to do," Bick said. "But we really haven't talked much. It's one of those things that is fully in their hands. But I'm hopeful it will happen. Certainly there's been some indication of positive signs."

It certainly was an interesting season for Giles, who in August killed a deal that would have sent him to Boston, as he vetoed the trade.

During the final month of the season, Giles said he wasn't sure what management was going to do, that he himself had heard different things.

"Over the course of the season, there has been a lot of stuff written that [the option would be picked up] and some stuff that it wasn't going to happen," Bick said. "We have given them every indication we'd like to see it happen. But we've going to reserve judgment until we see what happens."

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