The Philadelphia Phillies traded Ken Giles to the Houston Astros for pitchers Vince Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer and outfielder Derek Fisher, according to Mark Berman of FOX Sports. In November, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that the Astros had interest on Giles.
According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, there is a fourth player heading from the Astros to the Phillies in the trade for Giles.
After about a month of being connected to Giles, the Astros finally got the deal done. The Phillies got a nice return as they took advantage of a very weak free agent reliever market with a trade for the closer that Houston desperately needed. Giles will not be arbitration eligible for the first time until after the 2017 season. He should fall shy of Super Two status and will not be a free agent until after the 2021 season.
Giles was drafted by the Phillies in the seventh round of the 2011 MLB Draft and made his Major League Baseball debut on June 12, 2014. Over four minor league seasons, Giles posted a 3.77 ERA with 26 saves across 140.2 innings and 90 appearances. At the big league level, the 25-year-old has gone 9-4 with a 1.56 ERA over 115.2 innings and 113 games over the previous two seasons. Giles crafted 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings, 2.8 walks per nine innings, and a 44.6 percent ground-ball rate. His fastball averaged just under 97 miles per hour. The reliever made 15 saves in 2015 after being thrown into the closer role at a young age.
He was thrown into the closer role because Philadelphia needed a closer after they traded away Jonahtan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals at the 2015 Trade Deadline. The asking price this offseason was exceptionally high and the Astros met that price with three outstanding players.
Velasquez is the main player going from the Astros to the Phillies. The 23-year-old relief pitcher posted a 4.37 ERA and a 58-to-21 strikeout-to-walk ratio in seven starts and 12 appearneces out of the bullpen for Houston in 2015, which was the rookie year for Velasquez. The California native was drafted in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft.
Philadelphia will get a decent starting pitching in Oberholtzer, who was reported as tradeable by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports just a few days ago. As a matter of fact, Heyman noted the Phillies were a possible landing spot. Oberholtzer, 26, went 2-2 with a 27-to-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 38.1 innings at the major league level in 2015.
Fisher was the 37th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Astros out of the University of Virginia. The 22-year-old has batted .283 with 24 home runs and 105 RBI over 165 games during the previous two minor league seasons.