That’s not to say that a new contract is a front-burner issue at this point. Giles says he’s “just focused on the season right now,” which is certainly sensible with the sport knee deep in a hurried run-up to competition.
That said, the Toronto closer reiterated his interest in staying with the organization. “If those talks do ever happen,” he said of potential extension chatter, “I’m all ears.”
It could be that this season will require too much of a sprint to allow for the measured development of extension talks. Ongoing economic uncertainty remains a major limiting factor as well. But mid-season chatter is certainly possible and Giles’s willingness to talk opens a potential path for the Jays.
As things stand, the club could have a tough mid-season choice. There’s enough talent on hand to imagine a competitive roster in a short-season format, but it’ll also be tempting to cash in Giles on the trade market. If he makes it through the year on the Toronto roster, the team could consider a qualifying offer and explore further contract talks.
There are still quite a few ways this could all shake out. Giles will have a big say, beginning with his performance on the mound. He acknowledged the importance of this campaign to his career, saying he’ll exercise ample precaution against COVID-19 infection but never considered sitting it out. The 29-year-old has had some ups and downs, but turned in a sparkling 1.87 ERA with 14.1 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 over 53 frames in 2019.