Marcus Giles, Padres closing in on deal

SAN DIEGO - Free agent second baseman Marcus Giles and the San Diego Padres reportedly are closing in on a deal that would allow him to play with his older brother, Brian, on their hometown team.

Giles' agent, Joe Bick, says a lot of time and effort is going into trying to reach and agreement for the former Atlanta Braves infielder.

Bick declined to divulge details, but Padres general manager Kevin Towers also says the sides are nearing a deal. The Giles brothers grew up in El Cajon, just east of San Diego. Brian Giles, the Padres' right fielder, came over in a trade with Pittsburgh on August 26th, 2003.

The Braves declined to offer Marcus Giles a contract last week, deciding they could no longer afford him under their tightening budget.

The 28-year-old Giles made the All-Star game in 2003, his first full season as a starter. He wound up hitting a career-best .316 with 21 homers and 69 R-B-I's -- all career highs.

Giles was hobbled by injuries last season and was uncomfortable when the Braves moved him into the leadoff spot for 2006, seeking a replacement for Rafael Furcal.