The big trade landing the Houston Astros hard-throwing reliever Ken Giles from the Philadelphia Phillies is now official - it's just slightly different than how some expected it to finish.
A few days ago, word was that the Astros were to receive Giles in exchange for four young players headlined by Vince Velasquez and Derek Fisher. On Saturday, the deal was officially announced by Houston and it's a bit different. Specifically, Fisher isn't involved anymore...but Mark Appel, Vince Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer, Thomas Eshelman and Harold Arauz are. In addition, Houston also receives shortstop Jonathan Arauz from the Phils.
The inclusion of Appel, the Astros' No. 1 pick in the 2013 Draft, was a change from early reports and he and Velasquez should give the Phillies two very promising starters for the future. Appel wished the Astros well after hearing about the deal:
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Needless to say given the cost the team paid to acquire him, Giles will be the Astros' closer in 2016. Manager A.J. Hinch made that clear with the media after the news was made official:
So many emotions... Thanks to Houston FO, staff, fans and most of all my teammates. Love you guys! So excited for Philly! God is so good.— Mark Appel (@MAppel26) December 12, 2015
Again, the Astros are in full-on 'going for it' mode, and picking up Giles will help solidify their 'pen for 2016 and beyond.