In a battle between closer Ken Giles versus the Astros in a salary arbitration hearing, Giles secures his salary figure.
After the 2017 World Series, it seemed like Ken Giles‘ confidence was shot. Astros manager A.J. Hinch said that he would give Giles a break after Game 4 of the World Series. Giles didn’t appear in a game for the rest of the series. Despite Giles performance, the Astros found a way to win the championship.
While we are not sure where Yu Darvish is heading, you can’t get him at a discount because he had two bad playoff starts. People still see him as a top starting pitcher target, but the Astros don’t need him. After Giles’ impressive regular season performance, he is still an elite closer, contrary to popular belief.
Still, when a player the Astros will lean heavy on in 2018, you don’t put him in front of an arbitrator to defend himself. That’s why I was surprised when the team did not avoid arbitration with Giles. But, baseball is a business after all. The Astros are looking to save every penny they can with Justin Verlander‘s hefty contract.
The numbers involved.
The Astros filed at $4.2 million, and Giles filed at $4.6 million. In the decimal form, that doesn’t seem like a big difference. However, that’s a big difference of $400,000. It was rumored that Giles hearing was Wednesday, but it takes a few days to decide. They also want to wait until the first year arbitration eligible players have their hearings.
Roberto Osuna and Adeiny Hechavarria were the other two first-year players. Osuna dealt with injuries last year, so the Blue Jays were able to win that hearing. Hechavarria won his hearing versus the Rays. According to Jon Heyman, Giles won his hearing with his 49 saves the past two seasons, 34 last year.
Giles strikeouts did fall from 102 down to 83 in 2017. However, his ERA dropped from 4.15 down to 2.40, which represents a decrease of 45%. Watching him pitch in the playoffs, you would think he gave up a ton of homers in the regular season. Instead, he only gave up four homers in the regular season.
In 7 2/3 innings in the playoffs, Giles was 1-3 with an 11.74 ERA. He allowed three homers, with one in each of his appearances in the World Series. However, you can’t logically say that he’s not the Astros closer based on the playoff performance. Excited to what Giles can do in 2018.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***