The Giants have released Ken Giles from their Triple-A roster, tweets Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. The club had signed Giles to a minor league deal just over a week ago. As Pavlovic notes, this move gives Giles a chance to join the organization of a contending team before the postseason eligibility cutoff, which is 11:59pm ET on August 31.
Giles, 31, has been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball at times during his career. In 2019, he threw 53 innings with the Blue Jays with a 1.87 ERA, racking up 23 saves and striking out an incredible 39.9% of batters faced. He was limited by injuries to just 3 2/3 innings in 2020, eventually undergoing Tommy John surgery in October.
The Mariners signed Giles to a two-year deal covering the 2021 and 2022 seasons, knowing that he would miss the first year of the deal while rehabbing from the surgery. He earned a salary of $1.5MM last year and is making $5MM here in 2022. He seemed to be on track to help the club on Opening Day this year until a finger injury suffered in Spring Training kept him on the IL until June 21. He threw 4 1/3 innings over five frames for the M’s before he had to return to the IL due to shoulder tightness.
He began a rehab assignment in early August but was designated for assignment by the Mariners during that rehab stint. He eventually rejected an outright assignment and elected free agency, as was his right as a player with more than five years of MLB service time. The Mariners are on the hook for the remainder of his salary this year, in addition to the $500K buyout on the club option for 2023.
The Giants signed him to a minor league deal just over a week ago, with Giles making one appearance with the club’s Complex League team and three at Triple-A. The Giants have slumped to a 61-66 record and are now 8 1/2 games out of a postseason spot. If Giles can find a new team by midnight tomorrow, he will be eligible for that club’s postseason roster, even if it’s just a minor league deal. If he is selected to a club’s major league roster, that team would only have to pay Giles the prorated league minimum for any time he’s on the team, with that amount being subtracted from what the Mariners pay.