Joaquin Benoit opened the free agent market by signing a three-year, $16.5 million deal with the Tigers and various other relievers are reportedly shopping for three-year contracts as well, so Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals “are now open to trading” Robinson Tejeda.
Dutton notes that general manager Dayton Moore has been open to trading setup men in the past, parting with Ramon Ramirez and Leo Nunez two offseasons ago, and is willing to deal Tejeda now because his value will never be higher given the market for relievers.
After years of splitting time between the rotation and bullpen Tejeda was a full-time reliever for the first time this season, posting a 3.54 ERA and 56/26 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. He has a 4.16 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 167 career innings as a reliever, has always possessed top-notch raw stuff with a hard fastball-slider combo and a quality changeup, and figures to make around $2 million in 2011 via arbitration.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.