4. July 8th, 2018
Blue Jays receive: RHP Ken Giles, RHP David Paulino, and RHP Hector Perez
Houston Astros receive: RHP Roberto Osuna
On the heels of controversy and in an effort to rid the clubhouse of a suspended Roberto Osuna, Atkins found a trade partner in the Houston Astros, sending two pitching prospects in Paulino and Perez while also dealing their closer at the time in Ken Giles to the Jays.
Giles was struggling at the time in Houston, famously punching himself in the head after giving up a home run to Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez in early May. Fresh off a World Series victory the year prior (depending on who you ask), Giles accumulated a 4.99 ERA through 30.2 innings with Houston and was demoted to AAA in an effort to refind his groove.
The hard-throwing right-hander would eventually find himself traded to the Blue Jays, finishing the year on the big league roster. Giles would become a force as the club’s closer, posting 2.83 ERA through 78 outings over a three-season span (that really only counts as one and a half given the trade and injury), collecting 38 saves with 111 strikeouts through 76.1 innings of work. The New Mexico product looked to be a stalwart in the Jays bullpen until he underwent Tommy John surgery in September of 2020 and only appeared in four games that year, eventually signing a two-year deal with the Seattle Mariners in the 2020/2021 offseason.
Both Paulino and Perez have spent a majority of their career in the minor leagues and are both no longer with the Jays organization, with Paulino being released by the club in August of 2019 while Perez was traded to Cincinnati early last season to make room on the 40-man roster and is currently a free agent.
This deal ranks at #4 because Atkins was able to trade Osuna out of Toronto and got a solid reliever in Giles in return, as it appeared that the organization was not going to be welcoming back the Mexico product once his suspension was over. This trade could have potentially ranked higher if Perez or Paulino panned out at the big league level but to get one and a half seasons out of Giles is not something that should be ignored given the situation. Understandably those years came when the Blue Jays were rebuilding but Giles was arguably the best bullpen arm for the club at the time.
The Astros released Osuna after the 2020 season and the right-hander needed Tommy John surgery but instead opted for alternative methods. He most recently spent last year in the Mexican League.