The Toronto Blue Jays were in a bad situation when it was discovered that Roberto Osuna was being accused of assault against his girlfriend on May 4th, 2018.
Ultimately, those charges were dropped against Osuna. But at that moment, the Blue Jays were stuck trying to trade an incredibly valuable young talent for an under-market return. Not Ideal by any stretch of the imagination.
Enter: Ken Giles
Ken Giles’s time in Toronto has been one of redemption and reinventing. Gone is the pitcher who last season punched himself in the head while being pulled from a game for the Astro’s. Now, Giles has returned to the dominant closer he once was, and in 2019 is posting a 1.19ERA over 22.2 innings pitched with 10 saves.
Giles only has one blown save in 2019, and that one dates all the way back to April 11th of this year. Because the Blue Jays have been at the bottom of the standings in 2019, Giles opportunities to close out games have been few and far between. Yet when called upon the player dubbed Hundred Mile Giles has been lights out.
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It could be possible his departure from the Blue Jays may not be imminent, as Giles does have one more year of arbitration in 2020 the Blue Jays could pick up, but it would be my guess that the Blue Jays will move him sooner than later for some pitching prospect depth.
For those of you that will cry afoul of such a move by the Jays, here’s why I do it. He’s redeemed himself after the embarrassing self-disciplining incident in 2018, regained value for interested teams, and offers nothing to a team that has the third worst record in baseball. If anything, the Blue Jays should trade Ken Giles just to help lower themselves further in the standings.
Do you think the Baltimore Orioles are upset that they came in dead last place in 2018 only to be positioned this week to draft super prospect Adley Rutschman? Would they have been better served coming in third last place, and missing out on the chance to draft a player of his potential?
It’s an unpopular opinion for me to say the Jays should tank further this year to get a better pick in next years draft. Maybe just as unpopular an opinion as it was to keep Vladimir Guerrero Jr. down in the minors to start the season this year.
However, both moves would be the best for a team that has no intention of competing now, but rather in the future. The departure of Ken Giles may help further accelerate that process by taking away the guarantee of wins in games that the flamethrower closer enters.
Without Giles, the Blue Jays would be forced to look at other internal options to take the task of closing out games. No one in the Jays bullpen could offer the kind of solid, lockdown efforts that Ken Giles does..and maybe that’s the point.