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Ken Giles trade announced, with 2013 No. 1 pick Mark Appel headed to the Phillies

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It was reported on Wednesday that the Astros had acquired hard-throwing reliever Ken Giles from the Phillies for a package of prospects. The deal was officially announced today and it looks a bit different than originally reported…

It was originally expected to a four-for-one deal, with outfield prospect Derek Fisher part of the return package for Philadelphia. However, it’s now a five-for-two deal, with young shortstop Jonathan Arauz also headed to Houston while 2013 No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel and right-hander Harold Arauz have replaced Fisher.

This year’s No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Braves in the Shelby Miller deal, so now two of the last three No. 1 picks have been traded in the past week. Appel is going to get most of the attention here, but his road to the majors has been a little bumpier than anticipated. Now 24 years old, he posted a 4.37 ERA and 110/51 K/BB ratio in 131 2/3 innings this past season between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno. Vincent Velasquez is still the centerpiece for Philadelphia, but Appel is an intriguing wild card in the deal, at the very least.

And we probably shouldn’t ignore that this trade features a pair of Arauzes. Arauzi? This a big moment in MLB history. The one headed to Houston along with Giles appears to be a legitimate prospect. He signed with Philadelphia last year and batted .254/.309/.370 with two home runs and 18 RBI over 44 games this past season in rookie ball. Ben Badler of Baseball America ranked him No. 20 on his list of Gulf Coast League prospects. The Arauz headed to Philadelphia is a 20-year-old right-hander who had a 5.75 ERA over 10 starts and five relief appearances in Low-A this year, but he has averaged 8.6 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in the minors.

The Astros are getting another interesting piece back with Giles, but this is still quite an impressive haul for a closer.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.