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01/06/09 8:25 PM EST

Phillies ink Giles to Minor League deal

Second baseman could provide depth behind injured Utley

The Phillies added some much-needed depth on Tuesday, when they signed second baseman Marcus Giles to a Minor League contract, team sources confirmed. According to the Denver Post, the deal is worth $600,000.

It's been a bittersweet Tuesday for Philadelphia. On a day when Major League Baseball announced one of the Phillies' top relievers, J.C. Romero, was suspended 50 games for violating the league's Drug Policy after using an over-the-counter substance, the Phillies officially announced the signing of Chan Ho Park and then added Giles.

Giles will go into Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla., with a chance to compete for a spot on the 25-man roster. If he claims one, he can add a bit of insurance at second base while Chase Utley recovers from offseason hip surgery. Giles, 30, also gives the Phillies a right-handed bat they sorely lack.

In 2008, Giles didn't play a single game in the Major Leagues after starting off the season with a Minor League contract from the Rockies. Colorado released him before the start of the season.

His last season in the Major Leagues was 2007, when the San Diego native hit .229 with four home runs and 39 RBIs in 116 games for the Padres. Over his last five seasons in the Major Leagues, Giles' batting average has steadily dropped, from .316 in 2003, to .311, .291, .262 and .229 in '04, '05, '06 and '07, respectively.

Giles' contract calls for $13,000 a month in the Minors, and he can request his release if not on the 25-man roster by July 1, according to the Post.

Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.