Talks between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies about a trade for Phillies closer Ken Giles are intensifying, according to CSN Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury. According to reports, a deal involving Giles would likely include pitchers Vincent Velasquez and Brett Olberholtzer and one unknown player heading to Philadelphia.
Hearing talks between Phillies and Astros on Ken Giles are heating up.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) December 9, 2015
Giles pitched his second full season for the Phillies in 2015, ascending to the closer's role after Jonathan Papelbon was traded in July and saving 15 games. For the season, he had a 1.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 70 innings, walking 25 and striking out 87.
The strong performance for Giles in 2015 was actually a step back from his rookie year in 2014 in which he had a 1.18 ERA and 0.79 WHIP with 64 strikeouts in 45⅔ innings, finishing fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting.
The bullpen was a weak point for the Astros in 2015, proving especially costly in Game 4 of the ALDS against Kansas City when they blew a chance to clinch a berth in the ALCS by allowing seven runs in the final two innings. A top-notch closer like Giles certainly could have helped prevent that meltdown.
Some members of that bullpen are already gone, as Oliver Perez has signed with the Nationals and Chad Qualls has signed with Colorado.
The Phillies have also made changes to their bullpen this offseason as well, adding Dan Otero, James Russell and David Hernandez, which could clear room for Giles to be moved.