7:35 pm: Ben Nicholson Smith from Sportsnet Reports are that Giles requested the release of the sailors who agreed to his request. This should allay any fears that the club was simply abandoning him which contributes to limiting the sprawl. Nicholson-Smith also says that several teams are showing interest in Giles, including the Blue Jays, the team he was with from mid-2018 through the end of 2020.
6:05 PM: The sailors declared that the Savior Ken Giles He refused an express assignment and was elected free agency. Giles was set for appointment Friday and this announcement appears to indicate that he has gone through unclaimed concessions. As a veteran with more than five years of MLB service time, Giles has the right to refuse an outright appointment without losing any paycheck.
Giles, 31, underwent Tommy John’s surgery in October of 2020. The sailors later signed him to a two-year deal, knowing that he would miss the entire 2021 campaign, but he hoped for a bounty in 2022. Giles made $1.5 million the year He made $5 million this season. (There was also an option for the club for 2023, which now appears to be a moot point.) Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to that long-term plan, with Giles frequently missing this season due to other injuries. Although he was hopefully ready for opening day, an injury to his finger in spring training prevented him from making his Mariner debut until June 21. He was recovering from that problem when M appointed him for commissioning.
Giles will now return to the open market and try to find his next opportunity. Prior to his current injury streak, he was one of the best undertakers in all of baseball. He was last healthy for an extended period of time in 2019 with the Blue Jays, throwing 53 runs with a 1.87 ERA average, 39.9% strike rate, 8.2% walking rate and 39.3% ground ball average.
While dreams of that kind of performance will certainly leave some people drooling, there are reasons to be disappointed with Giles for the rest of the season. For one thing, the Mariners didn’t need a spot on his roster at DFA time, which may indicate they weren’t expecting his shoulder problems to subside between now and the end of the year. Giles could also have been caught on concessions by any of the other 29 teams, with only the claimant club remaining on the hook for the remainder of his salary this year, which could have been around $1.4 million. This so-called team could also have kept him for 2023 through the club’s option in his contract, which would have given Giles $9.5 million next year and came in at just a $500,000 buyout. The fact that each team missed this opportunity indicates at least some degree of pessimism from the market.
However, now that he has agreed, any team can sign him and pay him the league pro-rata minimum for any time he spends on the roster, deducting that amount from what Seattle pays. This will make him an interesting wild card in the baseball world until he signs. On the one hand, it has now removed three years of the last signs of its effectiveness and has dealt with many ailments since then. But on the other hand, with the trade deadline now over, teams that want Bullpen upgrades have very limited options to do so. Given Giles’ past success and the risk-free cost of the acquisition, the teams can consider it worth a roll of the dice.
Sailors also announced this catcher Louis Torrens He cleared waivers and was outspoken for Triple-A Tacoma. His status is a little different from Giles, since he has just over three years of MLB service time. Players aged three to five can decline an outright assignment and opt for a free agency, although they must forgo their remaining salary. Torrens qualified to referee last season as a Super Two player and is earning $1.2 million this year. With nearly $340,000 left to be paid this year, no team has deemed it worth the claim. Although the Mariners have not announced his acceptance of the job, it seems fair to assume that he did, given the club announced Giles’ rejection and the money Torrens would leave on the table by walking away. Torrens isn’t rated very highly for his defense but put up a solid attack last year, scoring 15 home runs and cutting .243/.299/.431, wRC+ from 101. He’s been much worse this year, though, adding one long ball and a .214/.262/.252 hit line production, wRC+ of 52.
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