Astros acquire RHP Ken Giles in multi-player deal with Philadelphia

Hard-throwing reliever has 1.56 ERA in young career

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have acquired right-handed pitcher Ken Giles and shortstop Jonathan Arauz from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for right-handed pitcher Mark Appel, right-handed pitcher Harold Arauz, right-handed pitcher Thomas Eshelman, left-handed pitcher Brett Oberholtzer and right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez. The announcement was made by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

"Our primary objective this offseason has been to add quality arms to our bullpen," said Luhnow, "Ken Giles is a premium pitcher who will play an important role by getting critical outs for the Astros for years to come.

Arauz is an exciting young shortstop with tools. He adds to our depth of infield position player prospects."

Giles will be available to the media at a Monday press conference at Minute Maid Park (time TBA).

Giles, 25, went 6-3 with 15 saves and a 1.80 ERA (14ER/70IP) in 69 games for the Phillies in 2015, which was his second Major League season. He posted 87 strikeouts in his 70.0 innings pitched, while allowing just two home runs and a .219 (59x269) opponent batting average. Giles spent the final two months of the season as the Phillies closer, converting 15 of his 17 save opportunities. In his 20 combined appearances in August and September, he posted a 1.21 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 22.1 innings pitched with a .159 opponent batting average. Giles finished the season ranked third among National League relievers in ERA and tied for fourth in strikeouts.

In his two Major League seasons combined, Giles has gone 9-4 with 16 saves and a 1.56 ERA (20ER/115.2IP) in 113 relief appearances with 151 strikeouts in 115.2 innings pitched. Over that time frame, he ranks third among Major League relievers in ERA, trailing only Wade Davis (0.97) and Dellin Betances (1.45). Additionally, his 1.56 career ERA is the lowest in Major League history among pitchers with 100 or more innings pitched.

Despite being just 17 years old, Arauz was ranked as the Phillies fifth-best infield prospect by MLB.com. Arauz was the youngest player in the Gulf Coast League in 2015 in what was his first professional season, committing just three errors in 44 combined games at shortstop and second base. He hit .254 for the season with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 18 RBI.

Appel, 24, began the 2015 season with Double A Corpus Christi, where he was 4-1 in 13 starts with a 4.26 ERA. He then was promoted to Triple A Fresno, where he went 5-2 in 12 starts with a 4.48 ERA. In 54 career minor league appearances, Appel is 16-11 with a 5.12 ERA.

Arauz, 20, was 0-5 in 15 appearances (10 starts) for Tri-City in 2015 with a 5.75 ERA. He is 11-8 in 53 career minor league appearances (34 starts) with a 3.54 ERA.

Eshelman, 21, made four starts in the Astros minor league system in his first season as a professional. He posted an 0-1 record with a 4.26 ERA in four combined starts for the Gulf Coast League Astros and the Class A Quad Cities club. He was originally selected by Houston in the second round of the 2015 draft out of Cal State Fullerton.

Oberholtzer, 26, went 2-2 with a 4.46 ERA (19ER/38.1IP) in eight starts for the Astros in 2015. He also made a dozen starts for Triple A Fresno, where he was 7-4 with a 3.86 ERA (30ER/70IP). Oberholtzer has pitched in parts of each of the last three seasons (2013-15) with the Astros, making 45 appearances (42 starts).

Velasquez, 23, went 1-1 with a 4.37 ERA (27ER/55.2IP) in 19 games (seven starts) for Houston last season. He made his Major League debut for the Astros in June after opening his 2015 season at Double A Corpus Christi, where he was 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA in nine appearances (5 starts). In 72 career minor league appearances, he is 26-14 with a 3.26 ERA.