The Mariners did it! They signed a free agent to a multi-year deal after weeks of talk about ownership not letting GM Jerry Dipoto spend money. Seattle signed former Philly, Astro, and Blue Jay Ken Giles to a 2-year deal according to Ken Rosenthal, with Shannon Drayer releasing the initial report of the signing.
Of course, the Mariners could not make a signing without there being some sort of backstory that leaves your head tilted slightly and an eyebrow raised. Giles will most likely not be able to pitch in 2021 since he just had Tommy John surgery in September of 2020, meaning his 2-year deal will be more like a 1-year deal for 2022.
Ken Giles is still a signing to be excited about as he has some impressive stuff and stats. Giles throws one of the fastest 4 seamer’s in baseball, averaging around 97 mph, and his only other pitch is his slider. Giles only had 4 outings in 2020 before having Tommy John surgery and he had a severe decline in velocity and a 9.82 ERA in just 3.2 innings pitched.
However, in 2019 Giles was one of the best relievers in baseball with a 1.87 ERA, 23 saves, and a .248 xwOBA (98th percentile) in 53 innings. While Giles’ ERA has bounced up and down (Around 2.00 in 2015, 2017, and 2019, and above 4.00 in 2016 and 2018) he has had relatively consistent FIP‘s and xwOBA’s except for 2018.
Giles is known to Mariners fans as he spent two and a half years as the Astros closer and was a major part of the 2017 Astros World Series* team. He is also known for giving the baseball world this incredible moment.
Again, we will most likely have to wait until 2022 to see Giles pitch in a Mariners uniform, but this is an exciting signing and is certainly a signal that the Mariners front office is looking at 2022 as a key year to start competing.