Reliever Ken Giles has won his arbitration case against the Astros, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports tweets. The Astros filed at $4.2MM, but Giles will take home the $4.6MM that he and his agent filed for instead. That salary falls $400K shy of the $5MM projected by MLBTR’s Matt Swartz, and represents a raise of about $4MM in his first trip through the arbitration process.
Though a bad taste may still linger in the mouths of Astros fans due to Giles’ poor postseason performance (11.74 ERA with 5 walks and 3 homers allowed in 7 2/3 innings), the fact remains that Houston’s 27-year-old closer has posted some eye-popping numbers across his first four seasons in the big leagues. Among qualifying relief pitchers, the right-hander ranks 7th in xFIP, 10th in K/9, 13th in ERA, and 16th in Win Probability Added since the start of the 2014 campaign. His 65 saves probably figured into his arbitration win as well.
Giles was drafted by the Phillies back in 2011. The righty made his big-league debut on June 12th of 2014, allowing a home run to the first major-league hitter he faced but striking out the next in a game the Phillies would eventually win over the Padres. Following the 2015 season, the Astros acquired him (along with shortstop Jonathan Arauz) in a trade that brought back former number one overall pick Mark Appel, Vince Velasquez and three others. Since coming to Houston, Giles has struck out nearly 13 batters per nine innings thanks in part to a fastball that’s averaged a whopping 98.3 MPH during that time.