Hard to believe that a full year has passed on one of the riskiest trades that the Astros have partaken in in recent years.
Looking back, the Astros trade for Ken Giles was one full of risk. And that is still the case to a certain extent today. After all, you are trading multiple players primarily for a reliever. A RELIEVER.
You must keep in mind though that your top relievers are more valuable than ever before. Giles has the potential to be key for the team’s success going forward. And for the Astros one year ago, it was simply this: trade notable prospects or open up the wallet. We all know that Houston struck out acquiring a closer via the free agent market.
Do you happen to remember whom the Astros traded to acquire Giles? Well, in case you forgot, here you go.
In return, Houston received Giles to help anchor the backend of the bullpen. And little-known infielder Jonathan Arauz.
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We still won’t know the true outcome of this trade for years. Honestly, either team can paint itself as the winner if certain events transpire.
For the Astros, a contending season(s) with Giles proving to be an effective reliever would go a long way. And for the Phillies, one, if not all, of Velasquez, Appel, and Eshelman becoming part of their next great core.
Of course, Giles did have a rough first half in 2016. But improvement was in the cards over the second half, which hopefully carries over into next season.
First half of 2016 season: .259/.313/.408, 4.38 ERA
Second half of 2016 season: .202/.298/.394, 3.77 ERA
Only time will tell how this trade breaks down for either side. For example, Oberholtzer is no longer with the Phillies. And there is no guarantee that Velasquez and Appel meet their full potential. Or they could. The same can be said of Giles. And one year later, we still don’t have a clear answer.
**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference **