Mariners make signing of experienced closer Ken Giles official

Feb 19, 2021, 11:00 AM
Mariners Ken Giles...
Ken Giles is one of eight relievers with a sub-3.00 ERA and over 400 strikeouts since 2014. (Getty)

Add one more to the pen… in 2022. The Mariners have officially announced the signing of reliever Ken Giles, who will miss the 2021 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Dipoto: Signing of Ken Giles adds ‘premium’ arm that Mariners’ future

The deal, as reported by Jon Heyman of the MLB Network, is for two years with $7 million guaranteed, plus a $9.5 million club option or $500,000 buyout for 2023.

To make room for Giles on the 40-man roster RHP Robert Dugger has been designated for assignment.

The move is purely a move for the future as Giles, as the Tommy John surgery he underwent Oct. 1 will keep him from pitching for Seattle until 2022.

“Ken has been among the most valuable relievers in baseball since making his debut back in 2014,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a press release. “He has consistently dominated the strike zone with elite level stuff. He will not be able to contribute this season as he continues the rehab from TJ surgery, but we are confident in his ability to impact our club in 2022 and potentially beyond.”

Giles has been a name of interest for the Mariners since early on in the offseason. A veteran of seven MLB seasons, the 30-year-old right-hander holds a career record of 14-18 with 115 saves, a 2.74 ERA (107 earned runs in 351 innings), 110 walks and 478 strikeouts. Since the beginning of the 2014 season, he is one of only eight relief pitchers with at least 400 strikeouts and an ERA below 3.00.

“He’s been dominant,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Look at the stat sheet and you see that. You talk about one of the premier closers in the league when he has been healthy. Like any closer there’s a hiccup here or there, he has a bad stretch or a couple of bad outings and people tend to grasp on to that. He’s been really good.”

Giles is currently in camp with the Mariners and getting close to putting a ball in his hand for the first time since surgery, according to Servais. As a Phoenix area resident, he will most likely remain in Arizona when the season begins to continue his rehab work at the Mariners’ facility in Peoria, Ariz.

With Friday’s moves, Seattle’s 40-man roster remains full.

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