Blue Jays closer Ken Giles, plagued by arm injuries throughout the season, is headed for Tommy John surgery that will quite likely wipe out the entirety of his 2021 campaign as well. Giles first announced the move via his wife’s Instagram account, and Toronto skipper Charlie Montoyo has confirmed as much, per ESPN’s Marly Rivera (Twitter link).
Giles’ arm problems date back to last season, when elbow issues prevented him from changing hands around the 2019 deadline in July. Giles looked like a prime candidate to move before then, as he was among the majors’ most dominant relievers. Toronto had to retain the hard-throwing right-hander as a result of his health woes, and the club could now lose him for nothing in the next couple months.
Giles logged a sterling 1.87 ERA/2.27 FIP with 14.09 K/9 and 2.89 BB/9 in 53 innings last year, and an encore could have put him in line for a qualifying offer and an expensive contract during the upcoming offseason. Instead, Giles was unable to follow up and could only throw 3 2/3 innings of four-run ball in 2020. Neither a QO nor a high-paying deal figure to be in the cards for Giles in the coming months, then.
Toronto, to its credit, has fared well this year despite few contributions from Giles. The club is 27-26 and in line for a playoff spot without Giles, who will now face an especially uncertain future as the former Phillie and Astro heads into free agency for the first time. The Jays acquired him from the Astros in a deal for fellow reliever Roberto Osuna in July 2018.