By Sam Bush
New Phillies general manager is holding his trading cards close to his chest at the major league meetings in Nashville .
Does that mean closer Ken Giles is close to being dealt?
Klentak told MLB.com Tuesday afternoon that “we may have something before we get out of here.” Do not expect the move to shake the baseball community to its core. A relief pitcher to solidify the bullpen is a possibility.
“I would say, if anything, we’re probably getting closer to the free-agent front than the trade front,” Klentak said.
But the trade front is active. Sources said Tuesday the Phillies continue to talk to teams about Giles, who is available at the right price. They have been talking to the Astros and Marlins, although other teams are likely involved as well.
Interest in Giles could increase if the Reds cannot trade closer Aroldis Chapman, who is the subject of a domestic violence investigation. The Reds and Dodgers were close to a trade for Chapman on Monday, but the deal is now in limbo.
“I think there are a lot of factors in discussions we’re having,” Klentak said. “Some of them are related to free agency. Some of them are related to trades. I think most teams, ourselves included, have multiple balls we’re juggling at one time. A player signing here, a player being dealt there can always impact things.”
The Astros seem like a good fit. The Phillies certainly know their farm system well. The Phillies and Astros agreed to a trade for Cole Hamels in July, but Hamels exercised his no-trade rights and vetoed the deal.
The Phillies’ asking price for Giles is high and understandably so. He has pitched well since his arrival in 2014, and he cannot become a free agent until ’20. The Phillies are not pressured to trade him.
The Padres received four prospects from Boston last month for closer Craig Kimbrel, including outfielder Manuel Margot and shortstop Javier Guerra. They were the No. 25 and No. 76 prospects in baseball, respectively, according toMLBPipeline.com. The other two prospects the Padres acquired — infielder Carlos Asuaje and left-hander Logan Allen — ranked among Boston’s top 30.
Early reports had the Dodgers sending Cincinnati at least one of their top prospects for Chapman.
Theoretically, Giles should fetch one or two top prospects from a team.