Is Ken Giles someone the Toronto Blue Jays should keep around for the long run?
Ever since Ken Giles came over to the Toronto Blue Jays in a trade from the Houston Astros, he’s found his form and pitched to the potential he always had in him. In 74 games in a Jays uniform, Giles has pitched to a 2.48 E.R.A. with 105 strikeouts over 54 hits given up with 37 saves while only blowing one save opportunity. Giles has been dominant in the backend of the Jays bullpen and the Jays could have lost a lot more games if it wasn’t for him.
Giles has been vocal about his love of the organization and the city and has stated multiple times that he would be open to an extension to stay in Toronto. I’m sure the front office would be happy to sign him for the right price but should the Jays extend him or use him as a trade chip to bolster the future?
If Giles can keep up the performance he has been putting out on the field since he came to Toronto, he would be a wanted man by many contending teams as he would bolster any team’s bullpen. He should be able to go to any team and be their new closer but he could also find himself in a setup role if he gets traded. This obviously depends on the team that acquires him if he does indeed get traded.
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At last year’s deadline, he was almost dealt to the Yankees for three prospects but the deal ultimately never fell through due to his elbow issues. With Giles now assumingly healthy, if he pitches like he did the past year-and-a-half, he would bring back lots of value but the catch is that teams may not be willing to give up much due to the truncated season.
As the trade deadline is on August 31st, if he’s dealt close to that date, the team that acquires him would only have him for two months, September and the postseason. This may cause teams to not be willing to give up as much for a rental which Giles is as he’s a free agent at the conclusion of the season.
At his best, Giles is worth a top prospect or a couple of decent prospects. If the Jays were to trade him, they should only do so if they can net an outfield prospect and perhaps a pitching prospect as you can never have enough pitching.
If the Jays opt to keep him and attempt to extend him, a good comparison would be the deal that Will Smith signed with the Braves this offseason which he did for three years and $39 million. As Giles is a better pitcher than Smith, the Jays can probably get him on a three-year deal but with a little more money than $39 million.
There’s always the possibility of letting Giles walk though. Giles will be 30 years old when he signs his newest contract and as mentioned before, he has had elbow issues. For a pitcher, elbow issues are the most serious types of injuries you can get and can derail a pitcher’s career, no matter the age.
Many speculate that the Jays may even have a future closer waiting in the wings. Julian Merryweather, the return for Josh Donaldson, has been tabbed by some as the future of the backend of the Jays bullpen as he apparently has a fastball that can reach the high 90s.
I say that the Jays should wait a little bit in regards to what they should do with Giles. If the Jays find themselves hot out of the gate in the 2020 season, keep him and attempt to extend him once the season is over.
If the Jays don’t see themselves making the playoffs, explore the trade market but only trade him for proper value. If they feel like they’re getting great value for Giles, then trade him but if not, keep him in a Jays uniform and attempt to extend him past the 2020 season.