Milwaukee Brewers: Who are the relief pitcher trade targets?

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 22: Will Smith #13 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch during the ninth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 22, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Giants won 7-4. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 22: Will Smith #13 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch during the ninth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 22, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Giants won 7-4. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Ken Giles, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

The only other top relief arm that seems likely to be available this summer is Toronto Blue Jays closer, Ken Giles.

Toronto acquired Giles just one season ago as part of the trade that sent their suspended closer at the time, Roberto Osuna, to Houston. Giles was moved, in part, due to personality clashes with the Astros management.

Giles has recovered from a volatile 2018 to become one the best relievers in the Majors again in 2019. He has a 1.45 ERA through 31 innings pitched. He’s averaging a stunning K/9 rate of 15.39, while walking just 2.61 batters per nine and 0.58 HR/9. Giles FIP is basically on par with his ERA, sitting at a 1.49. He’s stranded runners at an incredible rate, with his LOB% currently sitting at 92.2%. His 1.4 WAR trails only Kirby Yates, Josh Hader, Liam Hendriks, and Brad Hand among relievers.

Giles has a strong track record throughout his career of being a shutdown reliever too. Giles has posted a WAR of 1.4, 1.8, 2.1, 1.8, and 0.8 in each of his first five Major League seasons.

The big concern with Giles may be his ability to hold up physically for the rest of the season. He missed time in the middle of June due to inflammation in his throwing elbow. Though he was on the IL for just one ten-day stint, teams may have legitimate reason to wonder if his elbow will continue to decline as the season progresses.

Assuming he can stay healthy, Giles would be a great target. He has one more year of team control left after this season, something Milwaukee would surely want to take advantage of as they try to keep their contention window open for as long as possible. Given that his past issues seem to be behind him as well, Giles would be a smart target for the Milwaukee Brewers to consider this summer.

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