The Yankees and Blue Jays almost pulled off a significant, intra-division deal involving closer Ken Giles at this year’s trade deadline, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link). Three prospects would’ve headed to Toronto had the deal gone through, though their particular identities aren’t known.
This note is largely of historical import, though it’s interesting nevertheless. The Yankees were linked to Giles on deadline day, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeting that “deep” talks had taken place. Still, it wasn’t clear at the time just how far down the line the teams went. Rosenthal says the Jays actually informed other teams they expected a deal to go through, which made it impossible to pivot back and craft another agreement.
It’s still not entirely clear why talks collapsed at the last minute. No doubt health questions were a major factor, as he was dealing with elbow problems heading into the deadline. But the health records had already been exchanged and accounted for, Rosenthal notes.
Giles has continued to experience some trouble in the joint, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to rack up strikeouts. He’ll assuredly be discussed again in trade talks this coming winter, when he’ll be angling for a raise on his $6.3MM arbitration salary. The Toronto organization will hope it can generate more interest than it did at the deadline despite having only one season of control to market.
There’ll certainly be no shortage of ongoing interest — provided, at least, that teams get comfortable with the health situation. Giles has been excellent when available this year, throwing 44 innings of 2.05 ERA ball with 15.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9.
Whether the Yanks will continue to push for Giles remains to be seen, and will no doubt involve quite a few other factors as well. The New York org will have to see how things proceed with closer Aroldis Chapman, who can opt out of his deal at season’s end, and also consider other priorities.