UPDATE: The final package of players acquired by the Phillies turned out to be different than initially reported. For information on the official deal and the players involved, please read Names Change, but Giles Trade Becomes Official.
Revamping the bullpen has been a high priority for new GM Matt Klentak, but most didn't think that would include dealing Ken Giles, their 25-year old closer. With the Winter Meetings close to wrapping up, the Phillies and Astros have agreed to a five-player deal to send Giles to Houston, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, who first reported the deal.
In exchange for Giles, the Phillies will receive starters Vincent Velasquez and Brett Oberholtzer, pitching prospect Thomas Eshelman and outfield prospect Derek Fisher. Velasquez and Oberholtzer both have major league experience and will be added to the Phillies 40-man roster. Eshelman pitched in both the Gulf Coast League and at Low-A Quad Cities this past season, his first in professional baseball. Eshelman was drafted by the Astros in the second round of the 2015 Draft. Fisher was selected by Houston in the first round - 37th overall pick - of the 2014 Draft and played at both Low-A Quad Cities and High-A Lancaster this past season before also playing in the Arizona Fall League.
Velasquez, 23, made his major league debut with the Astros this past June and made seven starts and 12 relief appearances for Houston, posting a mark of 1-1 with a 4.37 ERA. Oberholtzer, a left-hander, has made 42 starts for the Astros over the past three seasons and has a career mark of 11-20, 3.94 with Houston. The 26-year old Oberholtzer is out of options.
Giles took over as the Phillies closer when Jonathan Papelbon was traded to the Washington Nationals. Giles recorded 15 saves in 20 opportunities this past season, posting a 1.80 ERA in his first full season in the majors. In 2014, Giles made 44 relief appearances for the Phillies, recording one save and posting a 1.18 ERA. Giles isn't eligible for arbitration until following the 2018 season and won't qualify for free agency until after the 2021 season.
Neither team has reported the trade, but both McTaggart and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com are reporting the deal.