According to multiple report, the Phillies have traded close Ken Giles to the Houston Astros in exchange for five pitchers; Mark Appel, Vince Velasquez, Thomas Eshelman, Harold Arauz and Brett Oberholtzer, infielder Jonathan Arauz also was sent to Houston.

"We were able to multiply Kenny into multiple prospects, Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock told me on the Sports Bash Monday. "In our situation, that was sort of a luxury for the situation we're in right now. Everybody saw that (lack of pitching depth), it wasn't real pretty to watch and it hurt the development of some guys."

(Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock talks about the Ken Giles trade and more)

 

The right-hander Vincent Velasquez is a 23-year-old who posted a 4.37 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings over seven starts and 12 relief appearances as a rookie in 2015.

Appel was the top overall selection from the 2013 draft, but has been a disappointed to date. In 54 career minor league games (53 starts), Appel is 16-11 with a 5.12 ERA and 221 strikeouts in 253.0 innings.

"Anytime you can get someone with his type of pedigree, the talent is there, another guy we have in system," Proefrock explained about getting Appel in the deal.

Oberholtzer, a left-handed starter, has made 42 career starts in the big leagues. He's yet to hit arbitration eligibility, and could be in the mix right-away for the No. 5 starter role.

Eshelman pitched last season with the Gulf Coast League Astros and Quad Cities, making two starts for each team.  The 21-year-old pitched 10.1 innings in those four starts.

Harold Arauz, 20, is 11-8 with a 3.54 ERA over 53 career minor league games (34 starts).  Over his four-year career, he has posted a 3.42 strikeout-to-walk ratio (178 SO, 52 BB) while averaging 8.64 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched.

In Giles the Astros fill a huge void at the back-end of their bullpen, something that was an issue in the playoffs this season. The 25-year-old right-hander has electric stuff and is on a team friendly deal, controlling Giles until 2020, he won't hit his arbitration-eligible years until 2017.

In 2015 with the Phillies he posted a 1.80 ERA and 87 strikeouts and 15 saves in 70 innings, taking over the closer's role when the Phillies sent Jonathan Papelbon packing.

With the trade of Giles, the Phillies are pretty much left without a closer but could opt to use Velasquez in the role. According to ESPN.com senior baseball writer Jayson Stark, an AL executive thinks Velasquez could be "just as good" as Giles if the Phillies were to move him to the bullpen.