In the end Brian Giles stayed put.
Last night Giles, a 34-year-old free-agent outfielder, spurned the Blue Jays' offer and those of other teams after agreeing to a preliminary agreement with his hometown San Diego Padres for three years and $30 million US.
It proved to be a stunning turn of events for the Jays, who thought when Giles turned down a three-year, $21-million offer from the Padres at the end of the season they had a legitimate shot at signing the productive right fielder.
"We're not disappointed," Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said last night. "We knew all along that it was a bit of a long shot.
"Joe Bick (Giles' agent) told us that if it wasn't San Diego it would be us. Unfortunately, we came in second and when you come in second you don't get anything."
Ricciardi said the Jays also offered Giles a three-year contract and slightly more than the $30 million he agreed to, but it wasn't enough to pry him from the West Coast, which was his first preference.
After Giles initially spurned the Padres, Ricciardi thought he had a chance.
"When we heard San Diego was out of it we thought we had a legitimate shot, but when San Diego came back in that was it," he said. "We're not disappointed because we gave it a good shot. You can't change geography and he went back to his hometown."
Ricciardi added that Giles was the lone free-agent hitter to whom the Jays had made an offer.
"I think now that if we're going to obtain a bat or two then it's going to come through trades," Ricciardi said.
As for starter A.J. Burnett, another free agent the Jays have made an offer to, Ricciardi is still on hold.
"I haven't heard a thing from them lately," he said. "I think it may go through the winter meetings (which start Monday in Dallas)."
Giles' signing, which is expected to be announced later today, came just two days after the Jays signed free agent closer B.J. Ryan.