The Giants have signed righty Ken Giles to a minor league deal, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. He is expected to pitch for one of their teams in the Arizona Complex League tonight.
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 wouldn’t contribute in the first year of the deal. The righty made $1.5MM last year and is making $5MM here in 2022. He missed all of last season as expected, but seemed to be on track to help the club on Opening Day this year. Unfortunately, a finger injury suffered in Spring Training prevented him from making his Mariners debut 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 to begin his return, getting designated for assignment by the Mariners during that rehab stint. Giles eventually rejected an outright assignment and elected free agency. As a player with more than fives years of MLB service time, it was his right to do so without forfeiting any salary. There’s around $1.18MM remaining to be paid out of that $5MM salary for this year, which the Mariners will be on the hook for, in addition to the $500K buyout on the club option for 2023. If he makes it back to the big leagues with San Fran, they will only have to pay him the prorated league minimum, with that amount being subtracted from what the Mariners pay.
The Giants are still hanging around the playoff race, currently six games behind the Phillies for the final Wild Card spot in the National League. If Giles can return to his previous form, he could give a nice boost to the Giants down the stretch.