We take another look at the 2015 trade bringing Ken Giles to the Houston Astros.
Fresh off their first playoff appearance in a decade, the Houston Astros were looking to patch some holes on their roster. GM Jeff Luhnow found who he believed was the team’s closer of the future in a young flamethrowing right-hander named Ken Giles.
So on Dec. 12, 2015, Luhnow acquired Giles and infielder Jonathan Arauz from the Phillies in exchange for pitchers Vince Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer, Mark Appel, Tom Eshelman and Harold Arauz. That’s five young pitchers the Astros gave up, so clearly they were high on Giles.
The Phillies were still in their rebuild and figured to sell high on a 25-year-old potential All-Star closer. They took a chance and got a cache of young pitchers in return, hoping at least a couple of them would blossom into regulars.
The Astros were willing to give up that potential to get a prototypical closer who could lock down the ninth inning for years to come. But as we all know, things didn’t work out quite like everyone hoped they would.