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.

O’Day retires following 15 seasons for 6 major league teams

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ATLANTA (AP) Right-hander Darren O'Day, who posted a 4.15 ERA in 28 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2022, announced Monday he is retiring after 15 seasons for six teams in the major leagues.

O’Day said on his Twitter account “it’s finally time to hang ’em up.”

“The mental, physical and time demands have finally outweighed my love for the game,” O’Day said.

O’Day, 40, featured an unconventional sidearm delivery. He was 42-21 with a 2.59 ERA in 644 games, all in relief. He made his major league debut in 2008 with the Angels and pitched seven seasons, from 2012-18, for the Baltimore Orioles.

He posted a 4.43 ERA in 30 postseason games, including the 2010 World Series with the Texas Rangers.

O’Day also pitched for the New York Mets and New York Yankees. He pitched for the Braves in 2019-20 before returning for his second stint with the team last season. He became a free agent following the season.

He set a career high with six saves for Baltimore in 2015, when he was 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA and was an AL All-Star.