Phillies rumor: Possibility for a Ken Giles reunion?
The Phillies rumor mill continues to spin as the trade deadline looms.
Fans can expect the Phillies rumor mill to be very active this summer with only one trade deadline and the team’s chances of winning in October as strong as ever.
With nearly the entire bullpen currently on the injured list Phillies general manager Matt Klentak will have to be creative at the trade deadline. Despite the promise of David Robertson, Pat Neshek, and Tommy Hunter returning the team likely lost Seranthony Dominguez and Victor Arano for the season.
Losing several key pieces of the bullpen calls for the addition of a veteran reliever with late-inning experience. Former Phillies star closer Ken Giles could be an option for Philadelphia as the Toronto Blue Jays continue their rebuild.
A seventh round pick in 2011, Giles became a fan-favorite thanks to his dominating fastball, earning him the nickname “100 Mile Giles.” Taking over the closer position from Jonathan Papelbon, Giles had a 1.56 ERA with 16 saves in his Phillies career.
However, the timing wasn’t right for Giles to succeed in Philadelphia long-term, coming up in the early stages of a long rebuild.
Giles was shipped to the Houston Astros in 2015 for a package of prospect, including Vince Velasquez and former number one pick Mark Appel. The trade brought mixed results for Houston and Giles, who had a 2.30 ERA in 2017 but an ERA above four the rest of his career there.
After showing up manager A.J. Hinch on the mound in 2018 Giles was demoted and traded to Toronto for Roberto Osuna, another talented reliever who was facing an assault charge and was subsequently suspended by Major League Baseball.
In his first full year with the Blue Jays Giles has flashed what made him an electric closer for the Phillies. Through 21 games Giles has a 1.08 ERA with 11 saves and 42 strikeouts for Toronto.
There are questions surrounding Giles consistency and personality in the dugout after the Hinch incident and this one with Ryne Sandberg and Bob McClure.
Giles also was seen punching himself after giving up a home run versus the Yankees a couple of years ago. Philadelphia’s clubhouse dynamics have been strong this season despite the addition of several stars, and it’s unknown what Giles would bring to that.
As for his consistency on the mound, Giles has been hot and cold since leaving Philadelphia at the top of his game. If you take away his 2.30 ERA in 2017 his ERA in Houston was 4.58 with nine blown saves.
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Since joining the Blue Jays Giles has shown flashes of his success in Philadelphia with the aforementioned 1.08 ERA, a career-best for the flamethrowing righty. FanGraphs does show Giles velocity to be down since he came up in 2014, yet he’s made it work in Toronto.
The price tag on Giles shouldn’t be overwhelming compared to what the Phillies received from Houston for him. Giles has one year of arbitration remaining before a team would have to re-sign him.
If there’s no progress on the injury front for Philadelphia’s bullpen they’ll have no choice but to explore the reliever market this summer. There’s some familiarity with Giles within the organization despite it being a new coaching staff, but if his success carries over from Toronto the Phillies would love his intensity at the end of games.