Yankees: This Trade for Blue Jays Closer Ken Giles Could Actually Work
By Jerry Trotta
Should the New York Yankees renew their interest in Toronto Blue Jays closer Ken Giles, this package could result in a trade.
The New York Yankees always seem to be in the market to bolster their bullpen, which is funny when you consider that it’s already the best in MLB in terms of depth and talent.
One name that general manager Brian Cashman has been keeping close tabs on for a while now is Toronto Blue Jays closer Ken Giles. The Yanks inquired about the 29-year-old flamethrower at the 2019 trade deadline, but didn’t end up pulling the trigger due to concerns over a lingering elbow injury.
Following the departure of Dellin Betances, who left as a free agent this past offseason, don’t be surprised if Cashman makes a more meaningful run at Giles as he looks to put New York in the best position possible to capture its 28th world championship.
The Blue Jays’ lengthy rebuild project finally appears to be turning the corner, as their young core showed promising flashes last season. With them still a year or two away from competing for the playoffs, however, the club should absolutely entertain the thought of putting the finishing touches on its youthful nucleus.
Enter Giles, who has come a long way from his Houston Astros days, when he was renowned for having mental meltdowns on the mound if he didn’t pitch up to his potential. The former seventh-round pick is fresh off arguably the best season of his career, in which he posted a 1.87 ERA, 23 saves, 83 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP across 53 innings.
In normal circumstances, Toronto would ask for a sizable haul in return for the star closer. Because of the truncated campaign, however, the club will have to adjust its demands.
The way we see it, the Blue Jays should ask for either one top-10 prospect, or two outside of the top 15. A deal including 23-year-old right-hander Alexander Vizcaino, the Yankees’ No. 7 overall prospect (per MLB.com) could work.
In this scenario, Cashman would be unloading a 23-year-old right-hander with a lively arm, but he would also be holding onto fellow young hurlers Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, Luis Gil and Luis Medina — all of whom should be untouchable in trade talks unless it’s a deal that’s too good to pass up.
On the other side of things, the Yankees could offer a package featuring left-hander T.J. Sikkema (No. 17 overall) and shortstop Josh Smith (No. 18 overall). Keep in mind that if this trade were to transpire at or around the Aug. 31 deadline, New York would only have Giles for less than a month, so the Jays don’t have the leverage they normally would.
All told, either one of these packages should see a compromise made between the AL East rivals.