Sunday, December 13, 2015

Farewell Ken Giles; Closer Traded to Astros in 7-Player Deal

2016 Chachi Departures #10
Of course I understand the rationale behind the Phillies trading their young closer Ken Giles to the Astros for five players.  There's no need for a top caliber closer on a team that will most likely finish buried in the second division again in 2016.  Even though he's young and inexpensive, it makes sense to trade Giles for potential building blocks for the future.

Still . . . this stinks.  I'm bummed.  My (now nine-year-old) son Doug is bummed.  My wife is bummed.  My youngest son Ben is mildly perturbed.  Giles is a genuinely likable guy, and someone I would have loved to have rooted for with the Phillies for years to come.  Instead, I'll root for him and his Astros unless they're facing off against the Phillies.  It's crazy to me that the four pitchers who threw the combined no-hitter for the Phils back in 2014 are now pitching elsewhere.

When I looked it up, I was surprised to see I had only 19 Giles cards in my collection.  His earliest card can be found in the 2012 Lakewood BlueClaws team set and his latest Phillies card (for now) can be found in the 2015 Topps Chrome set.  Minor league infielder Jonathan Arauz also heads to the Astros with Giles.  Only 17, Arauz was signed last season by the Phillies and I don't have any cards of his in my collection (if they even exist yet).

To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Dan Otero was designated for assignment.  Otero was the team's first offseason addition, back on November 3rd.

As is the case with any trade, much better analysis can be found on other websites and blogs.  What I'm most interested in are the baseball cards available for the five newest Phillies.

2016 Chachi New Additions #10
2016 Chachi New Additions #11
Vincent Velasquez (rhp) - Velasquez appeared in 19 games for the Astros in 2015, and the 23-year-old was considered to be one of the top prospects in the Astros farm system.  He began appearing in Bowman releases in 2010 and he has cards in the 2015 Topps Heritage and 2015 Topps Update sets.

Brett Oberholtzer (lhp) - The 26-year-old lefty is from Delaware, and he's appeared in 45 games with the Astros over the past three seasons.  He could compete for a spot in the Phillies starting rotation to open the season.  Oberholtzer appeared in a number of Bowman sets in 2009 and he also has cards in the 2014 and 2015 Topps flagship sets.

2015 Bowman
Prospects #BP85
2015 Choice Tri-City
2015 Bowman Chrome Draft
Scouts Fantasy Impacts #BSI-TE
Mark Appel (rhp) - This is where the deal gets extremely intriguing to me.  Appel was baseball's number one overall pick in 2013 but he's struggled since joining the Astros system.  A change of scenery and the different view point of the Phillies organization could hopefully turn him back around.  Still, he now becomes one of the top prospects for the Phillies, and he could be considered their new top pitching prospect.

As is the norm for a number one draft pick, Appel has had a ton of baseball cards so far in his young career, and the Beckett database lists 548 cards for him as of this writing.  He appeared in quite a few Bowman sets in 2015 along with the Topps Heritage Minor Leagues set.

Thomas Eshelman (rhp) - Eshelman was the Astros second round draft pick this past June after a phenomenal college career at Cal State Fullerton.  His first licensed baseball cards can be found within the recently released Bowman Draft set.

Harold Arauz (rhp) - No relation to Jonathan Arauz, Harold Arauz is only 20 and went 0-5 with a 5.75 ERA for Low-A Tri-City last season.  Arauz's only baseball cards to date can be found within Astros minor league team sets.

I pulled images for the Eshelman, Appel and Arauz cards from eBay and I hesitated to post the Arauz card since the watermark bugs me.

As is the policy of The Phillies Room and the Chachi Set Executive Committee, Velasquez and Oberholtzer receive Chachi Additions cards due to their joining the 40-man roster.  Eshelman, Appel and Arauz will have to wait a bit longer for the Chachi debuts.

Moving On - 2015-2016 Offseason
  • Chase d'Arnaud - inf (10/9/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent the Atlanta Braves, 11/24/15.
  • Justin De Fratus - rhp (10/9/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed with the Seattle Mariners, 12/2/15.
  • Erik Kratz - c (10/9/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Sean O'Sullivan - rhp (10/9/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Kevin Correia - rhp (10/10/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Adam Loewen - lhp (10/10/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Arizona Diamondbacks, 11/7/15.
  • Dustin McGowan - rhp (10/10/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Seth Rosin - rhp (10/10/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Brian Bogusevic (10/26/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed with the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese Pacific League, 12/9/15.
  • Domonic Brown (10/26/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Chad Billingsley - rhp (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Jeff Francoeur - of (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Aaron Harang - rhp (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Jerome Williams - rhp (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Cliff Lee - lhp (11/2/15) - Team option declined and elected free agency.
  • Jordan Danks - of (11/6/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Ethan Martin - rhp (11/6/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Jonathan Pettibone - rhp (11/6/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Nefi Ogando - rhp (12/2/15) - Claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins.
  • Ken Giles - rhp (12/12/15) - Traded with Jonathan Arauz to the Houston Astros for Mark Appel, Harold Arauz, Thomas Eshelman, Brett Oberholtzer and Vincent Velasquez.
New Additions - 2015-2016 Offseason
  • Dan Otero - rhp (11/3/15) - Claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. (Designated for assignment 12/12/15)
  • Jeremy Hellickson - rhp (11/14/15) - Acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks for Sam McWilliams.
  • A.J. Achter - rhp (11/20/15) - Claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. (Designated for assignment 12/12/15)
  • Michael Mariot - rhp (11/30/15) - Claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals.
  • Peter Bourjos - of (12/2/15) - Claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • David Hernandez - rhp (12/9/15) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Tyler Goeddel - of (12/10/15) - Selected from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Rule 5 draft.
  • Daniel Stumpf - lhp (12/10/15) - Selected from the Kansas City Royals in the Rule 5 draft.
  • Charlie Morton - rhp (12/12/15) - Acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates for David Whitehead.
  • Brett Oberholtzer - lhp and Vincent Velasquez - rhp (12/12/15) - Acquired with Mark Appel, Harold Arauz and Thomas Eshelman from the Houston Astros for Ken Giles and Jonathan Arauz.

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