The Philadelphia Phillies have young closer Ken Giles boiling on the Hot Stove front burner at the baseball Winter Meetings.
There are still a number of things that Phillies GM Matt Klentak can accomplish before leaving Nashville in a couple of days.
One thing that he will not do is deal away his strong, young closer quickly. At least not without someone meeting the rebuilding Phillies’ reportedly high price.
While some fans have wondered why a rebuilding team would want to trade away one of it’s best young players, especially one with a favorable contract situation, the fact is that the Phillies simply cannot dismiss anything that could land them multiple pieces in exchange for one.
“We like Ken Giles. We want Ken Giles on our team. We want more players like Ken Giles,” Klentak said, per Philly.com’s Matt Breen.
“But we also have to be opportunistic when opportunities present themselves to make us better in both the short and long term. And we’re going to explore that and other things while we’re here.”
The Phillies are in a favorable position with Giles where the closer market is concerned as well.
The Orioles re-signed Darren O’Day, the Red Sox traded for Craig Kimbrel, and the Tigers have acquired Francisco Rodriguez.
A deal by the Dodgers for Aroldis Chapman may be falling through due to a domestic violence incident, and Jonathan Papelbon is on the market again, but is, well, you know, himself.
With Giles, any acquiring team would be getting a young, hard-throwing, legitimate strikeout closer with five more years of team contract control.
“There’s a lot of interest in him because he’s good,” Klentak said at the Winter Meetings, per The News Journal‘s Meghan Montemurro at delawareonline.com, “and because he’s young and because he’s cheap. We’ll see. I don’t know how that’s going to shake out. If he’s with us, we’ll be very happy he’s still with us.”
There is no rush for Klentak. There will continue to be strong interest in Giles, even if he doesn’t get moved this week.
It’s all about some team coming along that is willing and able to part with a pair of high-valued prospects.
If that happens, someone else closes for the Phillies in 2016. If it doesn’t, Giles is back. The Phillies will rightfully be happy with either outcome.