Kenny Giles traded to the Astros

Limited time tonight to post but I wanted to get something going before Jim expertly fills in the details as he always does.  Kenny Giles was traded this evening to Houston for P Vincent Velasquez, P Brett Oberholtzer, OF Derek Fisher and a player yet to be announced.  Both Velasquez and Oberholtzer spent time with the Astros last year, with Velasquez looking to have a very high upside and likely to join the Phils rotation.  Fisher , a Pennsylvania native split time between A and High A and put up impressive numbers (22HR 87RBI, 31SB, .275 avg) in just under 500 minor league at bats last year.  He was the Astros Supplemental First Round Pick (37th) in the 2014 draft.

With little need for a lights out closer with likely multiple rebuilding years to come, this is a trade that makes sense for the Phils for a host of reasons.

95 thoughts on “Kenny Giles traded to the Astros

  1. I think I like this deal but I’m still waiting on the 4th player being announced. Velasquez seems like a good centerpiece.

    1. If Velasquez had pitched 6 less innings, he’d still be prospect eligible. He’d likely be the Phillies #4 rated prospect if eligible.

    2. I’m on board with most everyone else here. While I would have preferred the deal to include a better prospect with more upside (in lieu of Oberholzer and Eshelman) to go along with Velasquez and Fisher, it’s hard to argue with the return for Giles.

      Not a Craig Kimbrall or Shelby Miller type return for the Phils, but a very solid deal. And, as others have stated, Giles is a relatively high risk closer, whose effectiveness is largely based on velocity.

  2. i think this is a decent trade. although personally, I think the farm is deep enough that i prefer quality than quantity. Velaszquez + a Top 5 (reed, appell or tucker) or Velasquez + 2 Top 10 (Feliz, Fisher) is my preference.

    Hopefully, the mystery 4th player will turn out to be the “Domingo Santana” type prospect.

    1. I agree in that an elite prospect(s) would be better, but continuing to add to the depth is a good thing IMO. Also agree that a throw in like Santana would be a huge bonus.

  3. I didn’t think they’d get a big enough offer to move him this offseason, but Velasquez+Fisher+more sounds good. Was surprised to see Fisher pop up after all the reports about the Phillies looking for pitchers. Still hope the fourth player is interesting.

    1. There’s a report picked up by a commentor on philly.com that the 4th player will be 22 year old RHP Joshua James.

      1. The 4th player is Rule V eligible, hence why his name wasn’t announced. If he’s chosen in the draft, then we’d get another player.

        Joshua James isn’t eligible for the Rule V draft, so I’m not sure about his inclusion. Perhaps he is the fallback option if the other player is chosen?

          1. Could be Hernandez the OF, but like you said the new regime seems to like having as much pitching as possible.

  4. I don’t understand Oberholzer. We are tight on 40 man roster slots as it is and he has almost no upside. I would hate to lose a better arm so he can do a poor job of eating MLB innings.

  5. After seeing the returns for other relievers, I was hoping for a once-in-a-lifetime return for Giles. As it is, I think we did well. Would have liked to seen more upside, though.

    1. The mentioned deal was a nice return and they got guys who are either going to play for ML club this year or be in AA. That said, when I saw he was traded to the Astros I really wanted to see one of Kyle Tucker, Daz Cameron, or Reed coming back to the Phillies. Martes was another I really wanted. So while this deal isn’t a I can’t believe they got that back trade , it’s still a very good package. Fisher was a good get and keeps adding to the OF depth in the minors and he brings something needed in this system which is power. I’m curious who the fourth guy will be and hope it’s a guy in A ball with good upside instead of another back end rotation type.

  6. Quite a youth movement going on with all these acquisitions. Probably lowered the average age of the team by five years since 2013. Definitely headed in the right direction since the entrenched Amaro days (pre-Hamels trade).

  7. Goldbergs gaffe last night as Murray laments (ala A Christmas Story) the Phillies trading Ryne Sandberg FOR Larry Bowa.

    I had a similar experience this morning as I opened my electronic newspaper to get the Giles news. I get it though. And I’ll be rooting for Giles.

  8. While I hate losing Giles, it’s difficult to see the Phillies getting a better package. Velasquez is a true number 3 with upside. Him alone is a reasonable return. Fisher is an interesting get as well. Good return

      1. I like the deal. Sure we probably would have drew up a different package but Vincent has legit 1 type stuff. If he can master his craft he reminds me a lot of Arietta or Evoldi when they first got to the big leagues.

        They tried to over power every batter. With maturity came the ability to locate. Let’s hope Vince learns that sooner than later.

        I think I would have preferred Davis to Fisher but Fisher could end up surprising us. He’s a hard nosed player very much reminds me of Daniel Murphy I wonder could he learn to play 2B?

        1. DMAR:
          Oddly Fisher has a ‘Happy Ben Revere’ arm…as big and strong as he is.
          So either LF or maybe a try at 2nd like you mention.
          With the quality OF arms already in the system looks like he is pigeon-holed for LF.

      2. @romus – what’s your take on Eshelman?? he looks like another version of Lively (or the bunch of #4/#5 RHP SP in the farm) to me. I think the Phils asked for Ferrell over Eshelman.

        1. thanks V1 – but most likely Leake (or Nola) will be the ceiling. Not sure if Eshelman has the pedigree being not hightly touted last year so I will lean towards a Lively (rather than a Nola) comparison until proven otherwise.

          1. here is how i look at pitching…

            every hitter has a zone where they crush the ball and a zone where they don’t hit it well. every hitter except Trout or Cabrera that is.

            If a pitcher can consistently put it in that zone, then the stuff plays up to that hitter.

            Cliff Lee doesn’t have elite stuff. he just can put the ball wherever he wants to any hitter. Same with Nola.

            IMO, Command/Control is the most important pitching tool

  9. Excellent deal. A 2015 top 100 prospect, the sixth and 13th prospects of one of the top farm systems, and a fifth starter for, let’s face it, an unproven closer.

    1. You’re doing Giles a disservice by calling him unproven. I do like the deal, but i dont think we fleeced them, which is 100% ok. They got a piece they need to take the next step now, and we got a few pieces for teh future. I would like this trade if I were a Houston fan as well.

      1. They have such a deep farm system and young players on the roster that the deal is not even a bump in the road for them. They could afford trading those players. So it was a good deal for both teams. But better for the Phillies because they’re currently the worst team in baseball.

    2. Unreal unproven closer. You got a guy who has control problems. and two back end guys. plus a decent outfield prospect. This deal isn’t a sure thing. but to call him unproven is nuts.

      1. rocco…all about risk anyway. There are no sure things.
        The reliever the Phillies signed…Hernandez 19 saves , 19 blown saves….but his h/9 are pretty decent. He is a risk. But a last place team can afford to take the occasional situational risk here or there..
        Just not the first week of June next year.

  10. Fun fact about Fisher in his first game at High A he hits 3 HR’s 2 of them Grand Salamis racks up 12 RBI’s

  11. Now the important information. The headliners of the deal (Velasquez and Oberholtzer) look like easier names to misspell. So there will be a lot of that but we shouldn’t talk too much about them because they’ve already exceeded rookie limits so they won’t be in our top 30. Fisher will be a hard one to grade out because he hit most of his 22 HRs in the California League. He did go to the Arizona Fall League where he hit 2 HRs. He looks like his projection is high as a hitter but maybe not so much as a fielder? He had 3 assists and 6 errors in 2015 but he played all 3 OF positions. Eshelman is a college arm who could move fast through the organization but with a lot of very good to decent arms already at AA and AAA, I’m not sure how fast he can move. He’ll need to earn every promotion and not just be a guy who goes where they need an arm. I’m thinking that he’s not a top 30 guy but I can be persuaded to put him in the last 2 or 3.

  12. I posted in the wrong thread, but I like this trade.

    Velasquez is a little raw, but he has really good stuff and good command. His minor league k and bb rates show a ceiling of a #2 starter. Also, he is 2 years younger than Giles and almost has as many MLB innings.

    I also really like Fisher. He is no throw in. His power, speed and walk rates are awesome. A bit of a high k rates, but he is legit. Excited to watch him next year in Reading. IMO, he has a legit opportunity to be a very productive MLB player.

    I also really like Eshelman. He is not a #1 or #2 type, but it seems that he might have 80 control. Guys like that have a very high probability to start in the majors. Reminds me of Nola to be honest. Not electric stuff, but can put 5 quality pitches where he wants. So the stuff will play up. I am a broken record on this, but I think command is way too undervalued by scouts and raw stuff is way too overvalued. In the show, if you can’t command your stuff, then you can’t pitch in the majors. period.

    Oberholtzer is an Org filler IMO.

    I like Giles, but he is a very high risk reliever IMO. His fastball is poker straight. no movement at all. and his command is spotty. his success is 100% reliant upon throwing 96+. If his velo drops at all, then he is not a MLB pitcher IMO.

    net, net I like the deal.

      1. True, but power relievers who throw a slider are a high risk for arm problems. But his performance, contract and age, make him an elite player barring injury.

        My point is less about him and more that I think we got fair value.

        1. I am on the fence vi on what we got. I Am not familiar with the players. except fisher who I have seen play three or four times.

          1. That’s fair. 1 pitcher is an org guy. 2 other players were first year guys and the center piece has only 50 mlb innings. very fair to be on the fence.

          2. rocco……the Sox have a guy named Eduardo Rodriguez, Velasquez could have similar traits and a close comp to him. I understand minor league metrics do not always translate to MLB stats.

  13. I like it too. It was on the high end of what I thought was possible. Not a Kimbrel type deal, but as several of us said, that wasn’t going to happen (and to the credit of the commenters here, no one seems to have really expected that (though some people understandably hoped for it)).

  14. Who’s in the rotation? Nola, Eickhoff, Hellickson are locks. Morgan should be in there. VV is the last guy to round it out?

    That Lehigh rotation is going to be crowded: Asher, Buchanan, Severino, Eflin, Thompson

      1. I think a lot will depend on the health of Morgan. He’ll be more than 2 years removed from his surgery, so I’m hoping to see a return to his low 90s heat. If that happens, I think he gets it over Oberholtzer.

    1. I would like to seem them sign a bounce back guy like Fister to act as our #1, although he is not really a #1.

      I would be happy with a rotation of: Fister, Nola, Hellickson, Eickhoff, VV.

      with Morgan or Asher as the first call ups. I would like to see Thompson get a late year call up too. Maybe after we flip Fister at the deadline.

    2. I’d be surprised if Oberholtzer wasn’t in rotation. Why trade for him? Doesn’t really have any value as reliever does he? Doubtful he has options right?

      Nola Eickhoff Hellickson are locks.

      Would think Morgan earned a spot, but I think Oberholtzer gets a spot.

      Vazquez most likely gets a spot right? Have to try him as starter before moving him to closer if starter doesn’t work out. Vazquez could theoretically start in AAA for a little while, but I think that would be a step back. His numbers as starter for Houston were not bad last year. Something to build on.

      And don’t forget Matt Harrison. I have no idea if he is healthy but if he is they probably give him a shot right? Since they are paying him $13 million for 3 more years I think?

      My final guess for opening day rotation (assuming Harrison is injured still):

      Nola Hellickson Eickhoff, Vazquez Oberholtzer

      with Morgan as first guy up when the first injury happens.

      Thompson up around July-August

      Eflin in September, maybe gets a start or two

      1. we’re on the same page although I can see Morgan make it over VV (unless Morgan stinks and VV rakes in ST) to start 2016. But VV will be up very quickly especially if he force the issue in AAA. I can also see Obbi will be the long man and LHP from the pen if the Rule V guy didn’t work out and Nola-Hellickson-Eickhoff-VV-Morgan will the the pitching staff.

        I can see the Phils trading Hellickson so Thompson will be up in July.

  15. I still think that if mid-January rolls around and they can get Fister or Kennedy, they will do so, and the rotation will work itself out. Seve and Buchanan may find themselves out of jobs after it shakes out.

    1. Klentak’s Three-Week Maneuvers:
      A.J. Achter
      Jeremy Hellickson
      David Hernandez
      Michael Mariot
      James Russell
      Daniel Stumpf
      Emmanuel Burriss
      Ryan Jackson
      Peter Bourjos
      Tyler Goeddel
      Derek Fisher
      Vincent Velasques
      Brett Oberholtzer
      Thomas Eshelman
      –anyone missing?
      ..man has been burning the midnight oil!

  16. I like bringing in Velasquez as the center piece of the deal. Mlb.com had his average fastball speed at 94.99mph last season. From what I’ve read his change up is pretty good and his curve should top out as average. I like his upside and he complements Nola well being more of a stuff guy opposed to a command artist.

    I was also glad to see they got Derek Fisher. Our system seemed to be in desperate need of OF prospects not too long ago, but is finally building up some depth. Fisher joins Williams, Randolph, Quinn, and Cozens as OF bats to keep an eye on next year. Adding Goeddel to Herrera and Altherr is exciting as well.

  17. adding fisher to an already potentially explosive lineup in reading? don’t know how long they will last together, but the beginning of the season should be fun to watch, Projected lineup and batting order for reading out of spring training?

    1. rocco…interestingly the Cubs are now in on the negotiations for him. If he does sign there….they will have a surplus of young OFers that probably need to be moved, similar to what happened to the Sox at this time last year….besides Soler and Schwarber, there are promising ready prospects like Almora, McKinney, Eddy Martinez and Happ, with Jiminez, Zagumis and DeWees 2/3 years away.
      So they will be in the trading mode after next year with them if Heyward ends up in Chicago.

  18. I’ve seen opinions that Velasquez will start the year in the Phillies rotation but I think he’ll start at LHV. He was rushed last year and needs some AAA time. I could see Thompson, Velasquez, Eflin, Asher, and Buchannan as a nice LHV rotation to start the year.

    1. For sure VV has options left. Oberholtzer has bounced between the minors and majors the last 3 years. So I’m thinking he doesn’t have options left.

  19. Phils get Mark Appel from Astros instead of Fisher. I don’t know what happened, but this raises the deal up in my eyes. Does anyone know how this went down? Also swapped guys named Arauz.

    1. Overall I like the trade but not liking Arauz (the 17 year old ) going in the trade especially since he did so well in the GCL League according to Jim Peyton. Lets hope Mark Appel turns into the very good pitcher that he was at Stanford. If Velaquez and Appel reach their true potential then this will be great for the Phillies. I too would like to know why Derek Fisher was scratched from the trade.

      1. Agreed re: giving up Arauz. Caught a couple GCL games last year and he was impressive. Still an impressive haul though. Assuming VV and Appel start at AAA, is Jake Thompson the #3?

    1. rocco……Fisher may have failed a physical….sometimes that happens, who knows.
      But the Arauz for Arauz is intriguing….the pitcher looks like a good arm.

      1. so, 4 pitchers who should be able to pitch in the big leagues, for Giles. Can’t complain about that.
        do we have confidence that the Phils have the coaching in place to help Appel reach his potential?
        seeing the Baseball America report, there are mentions of questions about his competitive nature, and some scouts thinking his future is as a setup reliever?

  20. I was OK with Giles Deal, v.1, not overly excited, but OK with it.

    Giles Deal, v.2, is a winner – a top 50 prospect, the equivalent of a top 75 prospect plus other stuff. A big boost to the pitching.

    This is not the Kimbrel deal, but, nevertheless, the Phils’ front office deserves high marks.

    The Giles deal, the Kimbrel deal, and the Shelby Miller deal, in quick succession, should serve as a cautionary tale to those that throw around terms like “once-in-a-lifetime” and “outlier”.

    The market is not what Keith Law says it is. The market is made by baseball’s front offices and determined by the usual forces in a market economy.

    1. As one of those who throws around terms like outlier, I have several thoughts:

      (1) Elite prospects still almost never change hands. They certainly didn’t here (nor in the Miller deal).

      (2) As others have said, I don’t QUITE put the Giles deal in the category of the other two deals. No real elite prospect (e.g., Margot), and let’s face it, Appel has lost much of his luster. It’s a good deal, better than I thought they would get, but not as good as the Kimbrel deal.

      (3) People who pointed to the fact that Giles had many years of control (versus Kimbrel, etc.) had a point. Not that I disagreed in the abstract – I’ve sung the same tune for years; in sense I could point to this deal as vindication of what I’ve been saying for years. But I had some doubts that the market would properly value that fact. It did.

      (4) The fact that the deals happened in quick succession means little. Looking over the past 3 or 4 years, the fact is that these ARE outliers. Unless you think that the market is changing, reverting back to what it was several years ago. I’ll need a LOT more evidence to believe that that is happening.

      (5) That said, outliers DO happen. A few points about that. One obvious one is that we shouldn’t EXPECT outlier deals. Which some around here do. Hope for them yes, expect them no.

      (6) But more to the point, outlier deals are usually a product of the team selling the prospects, not the team buying. That was VERY true in the Boston and Arizona deals – the clubs selling prospects had decision makers who place relatively lower value on prospects. That isn’t really true of the Astros, but as I said I don’t put this deal in the same category.

      (7) Also factoring in here is a change in the market valuation of top relievers. IMO it’s a little bit of an over reaction. It may well be that, given changes in the game, a group of solid or better relievers is more valuable than it was, but the volatility of relievers is still quite high, and I’m not sure that teams are taking that properly into account.

      (8) Finally, and somewhat contrary to #5,, the fact that the Giles deal WAS a good deal for the Phillies, despite dealing with an organization that DOES value prospects highly, can be considered a tribute to the Phillies FO.

      1. “(1) Elite prospects still almost never change hands. They certainly didn’t here (nor in the Miller deal).”

        Either you haven’t been paying attention, or your definition of “elite prospects” is extremely narrow because a lot of top prospects have been traded this offseason. There are few prospect huggers still running organizations.

        1. v1……I suppose the one GM you may be alluding to is Dave Dombrowski. He never was one to horde prospects, even in Detroit, so moving to Boston and opening he flood gates was not that totally unexpected. Ben Cherington on the other hand was polar opposite.

          1. And Ben Cherington, for all of his brilliance, found himself pushed aside by John Henry.

            And, in the Miller deal, a Top 10 prospect was traded.

            We seem to be running out of brilliant GMs and teams that won’t trade top prospects. Only Mozeliak and Epstein are left, and they might even bend under the right circumstances.

            Baseball is a dynamic environment. If you thought you had the situation pegged three years ago, you’re wrong. Things are a-changin’.

        2. I’m using the same definition of elite prospects that everyone except you uses. There’s been one borderline elite prospect traded this year – Margot – and even he doesn’t rise to the level of the Betts type top ten in baseball prospect that people around here unrealistically salivate over. Appel, e.g., is not at this point an elite prospect by any stretch of the imagination.

          Now “top” prospect is a bit more vague, and even if defined narrowly is broader than “elite,” but that’s YOUR term, not mine. If you want to define THAT term very broadly, then sure you can argue that a few (even then I wouldn’t say a “lot,” unless you’re defining the term so broadly as to lose all meaning) of such prospects have been traded this year. But that has nothing at all to do with MY point.

          As usual, you shift the terms of the debate without contributing substantively or engaging the other person. Whatever floats your boat.

          1. It’s hard to understand what your “terms of the debate” are when you make 8 points in one comment.

            I picked up on your first (of 8) points. I assumed, obviously incorrectly, that that was your leading point. which is usually how people communicate. But you type in such volumes, that it is hard to figure out what your point actually is.

            Regarding, a top prospect vs. an elite prospect, you still don’t offer a definition. But I will offer one

            There were 4 prospects from Keith Law’s top 25 midseason rankings that were traded. I would call a top 25 prospect an Elite prospect.

            There were 5 prospects from KLaw’s top 26-50 midseason rankings that were traded. I would call a top 26-50 prospect a top prospect.

            So that is nearly 20% of the Elite prospects and 20% of the top prospects that were traded recently. and that doesn’t include those in the 51-100 range, which are also pretty damn good prospects.

            I am not suggesting that teams are giving away prospects. No one is being stupid about prospects. But to suggest that they won’t get traded is simply wrong. The teams that won’t trade Elite or Top prospects are in the minority. And I believe the reason these trades don’t happen is because Elite MLB players are rarely traded, not because Elite prospects won’t get traded.

  21. I actually like this deal a little more than the Kimberly deal. Like mlb ready vasquez over margot and like Appel over guerra. Eshelman equal with Logan who has higher upside but esh highly likely to be a 4/5 at the least. I even like our innings eater over the utility guy they received.

  22. the Houston Chronicle had the theory was that it was Velasquez’s medicals, not Fishers, that led the Phils to ask for more.

    1. He has had some injuries of late:
      –Missed 2011 due to TJ
      –Two months in 2014 due to strained groin
      –And 2/3 weeks after AFL 2014 with right lat strain.

    1. Why do you link Appel in particular to Halladay? I suppose all pitchers could learn something (perhaps a lot) from Halladay’s work ethic and psychological approach, but, as a pitcher, Halladay is more like Nola, Eflin, Morton, and Jake Thompson – guys with sinking fastballs who work down in the zone and try to paint the corners, than guys who can and do pitch up in the zone such as Appel.

      1. It wasn’t a style comparison as much as a plea to have Appel mentored by one of the greatest right handed starters of our generation, if not of all time. Appel has decent stuff, but from what I read his FB, while able to light up radar guns, is very hittable. Seems like he might be only a few adjustments away from being an effective MLB pitcher

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