Giles to the Cardinals – Rumor, Typo or Hoax?

Brian Walton gives the insider scoop on the Brian Giles to the Cardinals trade furor.

One silly word. That is all it is. "Night" versus "month". In the continuum of time, they have far different connotations in terms of immediacy. The use of the former, when the latter was likely intended, has set hearts aflutter across Cardinal Nation on Thursday.

In a story dated today, August 25 in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the following sentence appears at the end of a story about star outfielder Brian Giles' impending free agency.

"And teams such as the Cardinals, who tried to trade for Giles last night, might be in the bidding." link

And, therein lies the problem.

Prior to the non-waiver trade deadline at the end of last month, it was rumored that the Cardinals inquired about Giles. But, that seemed to be the end of it.

Yet, to be eligible for trade "last night", the following things would have needed to happen:

1) The Padres would have had to put Giles on waivers.
2) Giles would have had to go unclaimed by all 29 other teams. –or-
3) Giles had been claimed by the Cardinals.

While national writers Peter Gammons and Jayson Stark from ESPN have listed dozens of names of players who have either cleared waivers or who were claimed and withdrawn, Giles name was not among them.

Still, that is not conclusive. Lots of names may not be included in the ESPN stories.

But, let's step back and consider the Padres' motivation. Sure, they could lose Giles at the end of the season with only draft picks in compensation. But, let's also remember that the Padres are in first place. Why would they trade their best hitter and likely most valuable player? Not to mention the fact that if the season ended today, the Cardinals and Padres would meet in the National League Division Series.

Just to make sure, I asked Stark his view of the San Diego news story. His reply confirmed my suspicion. "That looks like a typo to me. They tried to trade for him last month, not last night. And he's not available, to my knowledge."

To put the last nail in the rumor coffin, I contacted a senior Cardinals official Thursday morning. When shown the article, the official could have declined to comment. Instead, the reply was a simple, if not slightly bewildered, "News to me".

I have also contacted the San Diego Union-Tribune asking for a clarification. If/when I receive a reply, I will post it here.

All over one little word…

Addendum (08/25 1pm CDT): I just received the following email.


You are correct, the story should have said "last month," not "last week."

We will run a correction in tomorrow's editions. Thanks for the note.

Chuck Scott
Sports Editor
The San Diego Union-Tribune

Case closed.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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