The Seattle Mariners finalized a two-year, $7 million contract with reliever Ken Giles on Friday that includes a club option for the 2023 season.
Seattle signed Giles knowing he won’t pitch for the Mariners this season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Manager Scott Servais stressed that no matter how far along Giles gets in his recovery, he won’t pitch in the majors in 2021.
“There is no chance of that happening,” Servais said. “We will not let that happen. That’s not the agreement, and everybody understood you to do the right thing and taking our time getting him back.”
Seattle designated for assignment right-handed pitcher Robert Dugger to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Giles.
When healthy, Giles has been one of the top relievers in the American League. He had 34 saves and a 2.30 ERA in 63 appearances for Houston in 2017. He had 23 saves and a 1.87 ERA in 53 games for Toronto in 2019, with 83 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 53 innings.
But Giles had arm trouble last season. He appeared in just four games before deciding in late September to undergo Tommy John surgery.
“Ken has been among the most valuable relievers in baseball since making his debut back in 2014,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “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 met with Servais as pitchers and catchers reported to the team’s spring training facility in Peoria, Arizona, this week. Servais said the likely plan is for Giles to remain in Arizona rehabbing after the team heads north for the start of the regular season.