Mariners agree with Ken Giles, who is out until 2022, on multi-year deal

Feb 11, 2021, 5:46 PM | Updated: 5:57 pm
Mariners Ken Giles...
Ken Giles has 115 career MLB saves over seven seasons. (Getty)

The Mariners have added another reliever, just not for the now. A baseball source confirms the Mariners are in agreement on a multi-year contract with reliever Ken Giles. The 30-year old right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in October and is unlikely to pitch in 2021.

Four positions where the Mariners could still make signings for 2021

Giles is coming off an injury-shortened 2020 season where he made just four appearances for the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing four runs.

In 2019, Giles posted a 1.87 ERA with Toronto while earning 23 saves. A power pitcher, Giles ranked in the 98th percentile in strikeout and whiff percentages in 2019 as well as the 94th percentile in velocity with a fastball that averaged 97.4 mph and could touch 100. He also limited hitters to a .184 batting average against.

The signing continues a trend toward velocity in the Mariners’ bullpen by general manager Jerry Dipoto who acquired Andrés Muñoz from the Padres at the 2020 trade deadline, re-signed Kendall Graveman shortly after the season ended, traded for Rafael Montero from the Rangers on Dec. 15, and signed Keynan Middleton on Dec. 16. The group has more in common than velocity as all four relievers have also undergone Tommy John surgery.

Return from Tommy John surgery generally falls in the 14-16 month range, and the results in recent years have been largely good. Though there has been some dispute to the notion that pitchers can actually gain velocity following the surgery – Dr. Lewis Yocum, who worked along with Dr. Frank Jobe, who pioneered the surgery, believed pitchers often pitched at a deficit before the surgery, thus giving the illusion of velocity gain – many return to form.

Dipoto have not shied away from pitchers coming off the surgery with Marco Gonzales and Taijuan Walker working their way back in Mariners uniforms.

With the move, the 2022 bullpen perhaps comes into better view with the possibility of multiple relievers with elite velocity at the back end.

The deal with Giles is pending a physical, which should be completed early next week.

Follow Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

Dipoto: How farm system’s high ranking applies to Mariners’ plan

Shannon Drayer

Mariners Scott Servais Jarred Kelenic...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer on Mariners: What we know and what will be answered in spring

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer looks around the team's roster after hearing from Jerry Dipoto, Scott Servais and Justin Hollander at media day.
3 days ago
Mariners Tayler Saucedo...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer’s Notebook: Mariners set spring invites, add LHP with local ties

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer details the latest from the team, including 32 non-roster invites to spring training and the addition of Taylor Saucedo.
5 days ago
Mariners J.P. Crawford...
Shannon Drayer

Dipoto: How Mariners plan to handle rest for J.P., pitchers’ workloads

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer details Thursday's Jerry Dipoto Show, including insight on shortstop J.P. Crawford and the starting rotation.
10 days ago
Mariners general T-Mobile Park workout...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Inside look at MLB’s evolving technology race from Mariners’ front office

Dave Cameron, the former USS Mariner blogger and new Seattle director of player procurement, joined the Mariners Hot Stove on Seattle Sports.
11 days ago
Mariners George Kirby Logan Gilbert Robbie Ray...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: The Mariners’ options with rotation deeper than ever

The Mariners return six pitchers who made double-digit starts for them in 2022. Shannon Drayer looks at how that depth will figure in this season.
14 days ago
Mariners Servais Dipoto...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Dipoto details how Mariners use projections, plan for Celesten

On the latest edition of The Jerry Dipoto Show, the Mariners president of baseball operations dived into how close external projections are to what Seattle uses.
17 days ago
Mariners agree with Ken Giles, who is out until 2022, on multi-year deal