Ken Giles- Philadelphia Phillies
While I hope the Blue Jays consider keeping Ken Giles around, it’s entirely possible they see him as someone who should be traded this summer in order to maximize his value. He’ll go through arbitration for the third and final time before next season, and become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 campaign is over.
Giles has been fantastic this year, and there is a legitimate argument that the Blue Jays should keep him around as part of the rebuild. However, it’s not always popular to spend on the bullpen (although that has changed in recent years), so it’s possible the Blue Jays don’t want to invest there when they are in the earliest stages of their rebuild. If that’s the case, trading Giles now makes sense, even if he’s been lights out.
There should be several interested parties in upgrading the back of their bullpen, especially with the increased emphasis on the role in the playoffs. It wouldn’t shock me if a number of teams came calling, but I’m setting my prediction with the Phillies, which would be a return to Philadelphia for Giles from the beginning of his career.
With David Robertson unavailable, Hector Neris has been the closer in Philly this season. While he’s been effective with 15 saves, a 2.67 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP, the Phillies could use some help in the late innings. They should get Robertson, Pat Neshek, and Tommy Hunter back at some point, but there’s no doubt that injuries have been a big factor, and they’ll want to shore up the depth in advance of the playoffs if they really plan on contending.
The Phillies entered play last night just 0.5 games behind the Brewers for the 2nd Wild Card spot, and 1.0 behind the Rockies. They’re also not out of the race in the East either, so bringing in an upgrade of Giles’ calibre would probably be a smart play.
I don’t have any juicy rumour tying the two clubs together here, I just see a fit that makes a lot of sense from the Phillies perspective, and if they could pry away someone like Spencer Howard as part of the deal, then it’s worth exploring from the Blue Jays’ side as well.