Most Mariners fans hoped that this offseason would be when the front office began their campaign of backend spending to finally bring into full focus the team of franchise future. Unfortunately, Mariners owner John Stanton woke up one January morning, threw off his 43,000 thread count sheets, and as he went to slide his feet into his $900 Gucci slippers, he found the left one to be rotated 11 degrees inward, making it ever so slightly more difficult for him to get his foot into it than normal, and in that moment decided “I’m broke”. And so it was. John grabbed his secret prototype telephone, a model reserved for only the wealthiest men of American society, and informed his subordinate, general manager Jerry Dipoto, of his very sudden, but very real affliction.
“Jerry, I bear ill tidings. I seem to have misplaced all my money.”
“But John, I had such plans. I was just about to call Blake Treinen’s agent. Should I reschedule the call?”
“Might be best to cancel it actually.”
“Well I would love to reach out to Taijuan Walker. We need to touch base with him for sure. We all but guaranteed he’d have a place on this year’s roster when we traded him at the deadline last year. Can I still do that?”
“I think that may be unwise at this current juncture.”
“Well we still need a left field stop gap John. I was thinking someone with some franchise familiarity. Brad Miller came to mind. Certainly we can still afford him right?!”
“Jerry I can’t even keep my slippers straight right now I’m gonna have to call you back.”
The news spread among the community like an easily correctable virus at an overcrowded eatery, and was greeted with a similar lack of enthusiasm. Sure, the waiting would continue. Waiting was something Mariners fans have spent twenty years learning to abide. What’s another year? Surely there is a good reason right? It couldn’t be something as ridiculous as a billionaire claiming sudden onset bankruptcy syndrome ala Michael Scott. That would be utterly preposterous.
But it was. And everyone everywhere was left pondering a simple question. Do rich people know what poor actually is? But also, what does the team do to address their short term needs?
And then a hero rose up. An extremely likely hero, who to the surprise of exactly no one, stood up among all the noise, and did almost nothing to stop all the questions with a single deft stroke.
Jerry Dipoto signed reliever Ken Giles to a multi-year contract. A collective cry of jubilation erupted from a snow covered Seattle metropolitan area, but as quickly as it came, it quieted, as the sad realization landed on them.
Ken Giles, a good reliever, whose signing should bring joy to Mariners fans, had Tommy John surgery in September. While that certainly does detract from his signing value right now, it makes him a perfect player for the Mariners to sign right now. A multi-year deal means that the Mariners can put the majority of the money owed at the back end of the contract, meaning the team doesn’t have to shell out now to make the club good later. And just look at the kind of good they could be getting.
Giles has been a dominant force in almost every bullpen he’s been a part of since breaking into the league with the Phillies in 2014. He was absolute thorn in the Mariners during his time with the Astros, striking out 19 Mariners in 10 innings against them in 2017, making him just another on the long list of Astros that made Mariners groan for such copious amounts of time that “prolonged expulsion of low decibel air” has been sighted as reasons for separation in, literally, some divorce cases around the city (probably). He’s been among league leaders in a number of different stats including K%, xERA, XBA, and XSLG in the years since establishing himself. Given the growing number of players that have come back from Tommy John with a renewed vigor and a seemingly stronger arm, this signing is likely to be really exciting for those Mariners fans that are willing to be patient, and those that aren’t will surely pay the late fee to get their band wagon ticket after they watch him blowing away batters with triple digit heat and a wipe out slider.
So maybe Giles doesn’t help the team now, but he could certainly be a cornerstone piece of the Mariners bullpen in 2022 and possibly beyond. And with that final realization, a somewhat quieter, but still noticeable “yaaaaaay” drifted up to meet the snowflakes.