Report: Blue Jays won't attend Ken Giles showcase, but 'the interest is there'

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Remember Ken Giles, the flamethrowing relief pitcher from the 2018-2020 Blue Jays?

He's been off the grid since a 2021 Tommy John surgery followed by a 2022 right middle finger sprain, making just five appearances since September of 2020.

Now 32-years-old, the right-hander is eyeing a comeback, and will reportedly be holding a "showcase" in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, May 12th. Showcase is in quotes because, while it is being labeled as such by some media outlets, a source close to the situation says, "it's not so much a showcase, more like a casual bullpen session that teams are welcome to sit in on."

The source continued by saying that Giles actually does these public bullpen sessions every Friday and has done so for the past five weeks or so. He has been working with Driveline Baseball, one of the premier player development organizations in the game. There, he has been building his endurance back up, working on reviving his velocity and improving his spin rates in hopes of landing a job.

That job, in fact, could come from his old team, the Toronto Blue Jays.

Ken Giles eyeing a comeback and the Blue Jays are interested.

While the Blue Jays will not have someone physically present at this Friday's bullpen session, the source says that, "[the Blue Jays] have attended past ones", and while nothing has come of these session just yet, the club is "one of many" that remains interested.

Driveline is a data-driven organization that keeps loads of information on hand regarding all of the players they work with, including Giles. In recent days, the Blue Jays have contacted Driveline and requested reports on how his velocity and spin rates are looking, and the interest is said to be there.

Of course, Giles has been a dominant force at times during his eight-year career. He routinely hit high-90s and triple digits on his fastball and at one point was one of the better closers in the game. Through 362 games at the big league level, he has a 2.71 ERA, 2.46 FIP and 150 ERA+ alongside 115 saves.

It's unclear where exactly Giles would fit on this current Blue Jays squad, but a minor league deal feels like the most obvious route for everyone involved, at least to start with. If he is brought aboard and excels in Triple-A, he'd have a legitimate shot at cracking the big league bullpen for the Jays for the first time in three years.