Ten Big Winners from the Winter Meetings

Kansas City Royals v Houston Astros

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2.) Philadelphia Phillies

When you trade a closer for four players, one can only be ecstatic. When one of those players is Vincent Velasquez, you have to be more than ecstatic. Throw in Brett Oberholtzer and two more quality prospects, and you’ve got quite a haul for Ken Giles. Velasquez and Oberholtzer should be in the Phillies’ rotation next season.

In the minor leagues, Velasquez has struck out nearly 11 per nine, and does have good control. His fastball checks in around 95, and he’s got a dominating slider. The Yankees liked him in a deal for Andrew Miller, so that goes to show how highly Velasquez is thought of in MLB circles.

Giles is a great young closer, but was of little value to the Phillies as they continue to rebuild. The team’s cause was helped out by the Aroldis Chapman issues, as well as growing interest by the Cubs in acquiring a closer. Philadelphia had a lot of leverage, and was able to extract a major return for Giles. As for the closer’s role in the future — it’s far easier than most are willing to believe to find and develop another power arm capable to getting the last three outs. As the Phillies continue to hoard prospects, that should not be too hard to do.

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