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Giles agrees to remain in San Diego

Right fielder Brian Giles reached a preliminary agreement last night to re-sign with his hometown San Diego Padres for $30 million over three years.

The deal is pending Giles's scheduled physical this morning and an announcement is expected later in the day, two baseball officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the contract hadn't been finalized yet.

One of the top outfielders on the free-agent market, Giles batted .301 with 15 homers and 83 RBIs last season, leading the NL West-champion Padres in several offensive categories. He drew a major league-best 119 walks and had a stellar .423 on-base percentage.

The two-time All-Star will earn $9 million per season from 2006-08, with a $9 million option for 2009 that could raise the value of the deal to $36 million over four years. The club has a $3 million buyout for 2009.

Late last week, it appeared that Giles, 34, would leave the Padres after the team rejected a proposal from his agent, Joe Bick. The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays were among the other teams thought to be interested in Giles.

Konerko re-signs

Having received a $60 million, five-year offer from the Chicago White Sox, free agent first baseman Paul Konerko decided the proposal was fair and agreed to return to the World Series champions. He rejected similar offers from the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels.

''It's as simple as where your heart is," said Konerko, the MVP of the AL Championship Series. ''That's what brought me back."

Konerko's decision and last week's acquisition of Jim Thome from Philadelphia could mean the end of Frank Thomas's career with the White Sox.

Thomas, a two-time AL MVP, became a free agent after Chicago declined a 2006 option.

Lucchino Dallas-bound

Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino said he will be in Dallas next week for baseball's winter meetings, a possible indicator that the Sox will not have a general manager in place by Monday.

Lucchino said there was no news to report yesterday on the GM search, while maintaining that the team retains hope of having someone in place by the start of the meetings. Former Orioles vice president Jim Beattie, Washington general manager Jim Bowden, and White Sox director of player development David Wilder are the only known outside candidates for the position . . . Sox manager Terry Francona has been released from the hospital and is home after undergoing knee replacement surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. Francona said he will not be part of the Sox contingent going to Dallas. With Konerko choosing to stay with the White Sox, there is an expectation that the Angels will investigate a trade for Manny Ramírez, though there were indications last month the Angels were lukewarm about the idea. Lucchino is expected to play a major role in Ramírez trade talks and negotiations with agent Scott Boras on a contract for free agent Johnny Damon.

Bonds eyes Classic

Barry Bonds told the players' association he plans to play for the United States in next year's inaugural World Baseball Classic. Bonds has been speaking with Bobby Bonilla, his former Pittsburgh teammate. ''There are details that still need to be addressed before Barry can play," said Bonds's agent, Jeff Borris, in an e-mail. Bonds missed almost all of last season because of a knee injury . . . Kelly Stinnett replaced John Flaherty as the Yankees' backup catcher, agreeing to a $650,000, one-year contract.

Gordon Edes of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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