The rule of 2022 is that the SF Giants must add as many former Seattle Mariners players as possible. They continued to exceed that goal on Monday as they signed eight-year veteran Ken Giles to a minor league pact.
SF Giants add longtime closer on a minor league deal
Giles has been assigned to the Arizona Complex League Giants Orange, per the team's transaction page. The right-handed hurler signed a two-year, $7 million pact with a $9.5 million team option for 2023 prior to the 2021 season with Seattle.
He underwent Tommy John surgery in September of 2020, so the Mariners were aware that he was going to miss the entire 2021 season when the deal was completed. Nevertheless, it was not a deal that worked out in Seattle's favor as Giles recorded 4.1 scoreless frames with the Mariners in 2022 before being designated for assignment. He will receive a $500,000 buyout for 2023 from the Mariners.
He checked off the Giants' most important box in that he is coming straight from Seattle, which has been a consistent theme for 2022.
Giles debuted with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014 where he registered a 1.18 ERA, 1.34 FIP, 0.78 WHIP, 12.6 K/9, and a 5.82 SO/W ratio in 44 appearances. He followed that up with a 1.80 ERA across 70 frames with the Phillies in 2015.
In a surprise twist, the veteran reliever was shipped to the Houston Astros after the 2015 season in a move that netted the Phillies five prospects headlined by former top pick Mark Appel. Giles battled inconsistency in the ensuing seasons while making stops with the Toronto Blue Jays as well as the Mariners.
Giles does not flash the premium velocity that he did earlier in his career, but his four-seam fastball sits comfortably in the mid-90's. He pairs this with an effective slider that has yielded just a .132 batting average against since he debuted in 2014.
The veteran used to rely more on his four-seam fastball, but his slider usage has increased in recent years, reaching as high as 62.3 percent in 2020.
San Francisco definitely needs help in the bullpen as it has posted a 4.36 ERA in 2022. Given that Giles' deal is a minor league pact, he does not currently occupy a spot on the 40-man roster. That said, it would not be a surprise to see him pitch for the Giants down the stretch this season to help improve the bullpen and serve as a potential audition for next as well.