Stumbling through the web of injuries this season, Giles’ most recent troubles could not have come at a worst time for the Blue Jays.
Giles was earlier held out of games for simply “not being 100%”, but as we know now, that was a slight masking of the truth and what was really going on with the current Jays’ closer.
#BlueJays closer Ken GIles visited Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas today, source tells The Athletic. An MRI revealed no structural damage in Giles’ elbow, but upon Meister’s recommendation, the pitcher received a cortisone shot. Will not pitch again before deadline.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2019
Reported by Ken Rosenthal, Giles took a trip to Dallas to get his elbow issue worked out, at least the MRI came back clean and there is no lasting damage. But there certainly is damage to his trade value and since Toronto got what is generally considered to be a lackluster return on their premier trade chip Marcus Stroman, Giles was the next bet to get back a highly-regarded prospect thrust into the Jays’ system.
Considering that Giles currently has the 3rd-highest K/9 among all qualified relievers in the majors and the 5th-highest WAR among that group as well, he could have fetched a nice young player for the future of this team.
He does have one more year of control, so it’s not like he would have been a pure rental and Toronto is screwed out of getting anything back for the closer, but this lowers all hope substantially.
Now, the Jays might have a couple options.
The first could just be to trade him anyway for a massively discounted return. Teams know what Giles can do and has done this year before his injury trouble, so getting potentially two pennant races out of the 28-year-old could be beneficial for less prospect value than they were going to initially give up.
This would be the best option for those wanting this team to just tear everything down as soon as possible and can’t get enough of prospect reports. But if anything goes array, or there’s only some mid-level prospects coming back for Giles, I doubt Toronto would make that move.
If they still want to move him, there’s always this winter and that opens up some more possibilities. Teams not in the thick of contention this season, but plan on competing in 2020, should be interested in a top-level closer like Giles this offseason. And with the Jays not really needing his services anytime soon, they could trade him then if a move isn’t made before tomorrow.
There is always the weird and not-as-satisfying third option of simply keeping the player and letting him be on the 25-man roster next season. Either trading him at next year’s deadline as a rental or just keeping him if the Jays are somehow close to the Wild Card wouldn’t be the worst scenario.
Depending on how the front office views his value and if they can get a better package for him this offseason or next year, something will happen in the next 24 hours.
If we know anything about teams around this new deadline that doesn’t allow any waiver trades past July 31, it’s that so far teams are slightly gun shy and that wouldn’t change with Giles. That is why he will most likely stay in Toronto past 4:00 pm tomorrow.
Someone will need to pitch for the team next year.