Philadelphia also has a history of trades involving young relievers, most notably Ken Giles. Built up as an All-Star closer who threw a wicked-fast fastball, Giles was the Phillies’ most valuable asset in the middle of a rebuild. They shipped him to Houston after two years with a career 1.49 ERA in 113 games and just 24-years-old.
The Astros sent five players to the Phillies for Giles, including former number one pick Mark Appel. In all the Phillies received Appel, Vince Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer, Thomas Eshelman, and Harold Arauz for Giles and prospect Jonathan Arauz, ironically no relation to the prospect Houston sent back in the deal.
Giles struggled immediately in Houston, a city on the verge of it’s first World Series victory. In 2016 he had a 4.11 ERA and blew five saves in 20 attempts. A decent 2017 didn’t carry over for Giles, who publically ridiculed manager A.J. Hinch, and he was subsequently traded to Toronto.
The Phillies haven’t turned out as clear winners in the Giles deal, especially after Appel decided to step away from baseball.
Eshelman was left vulnerable to the Rule 5 Draft and Arauz had a 4.69 ERA in Reading and Lehigh Valley last year.
Velasquez could turn this deal around if he can stick a starting job, but his inconsistencies have made him one of the more frustrating players in the organization.
There were several relievers moved at the trade deadline, including Zach Britton, Jeurys Familia, and Brad Hand. Britton and Hand each had ERA’s under three after they were traded, while Familia’s was at 3.45 for the A’s.