Mariners snag reliever Ken Giles with 2022 comeback in mind

Ken Giles, Toronto Blue Jays. (Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)
Ken Giles, Toronto Blue Jays. (Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Seattle Mariners have signed Ken Giles in his free agency, hoping he will play in 2022.

While he recovers from Tommy John surgery, right-handed relief pitcher Ken Giles will do so for a new team. He has signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Mariners with the plans he will be back on the mound for the 2022 MLB season.

Giles spent the last two-and-a-half seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays after being traded from the Houston Astros. The former Philadelphia Phillies farmhand won a World Series ring with the 2017 Astros. The Mariners are hoping he can return to what he was earlier in his career before arm trouble led him to falling out of favor with the Blue Jays. Will it work out for the Mariners?

What is the upside to signing a player coming off Tommy John surgery?

This is a peculiar move for the Mariners because the small-market franchise is paying a relief pitcher to not pitch for them for a full year while he recovers from Tommy John. Giles may have played in the AL West before, but this is a signing Seattle fans are having a hard time getting behind. The M’s have not made the postseason since 2001 and have never been to a World Series.

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Ultimately, this could be a gesture of good faith made by the Mariners organization. Perhaps they want to monitor his recovery so that they can have a great feel for what Giles could offer them in a 2022 comeback season. Giles will be 31-years-old during that campaign. Again, this is a bold move and one with tremendous boom-or-bust potential. Hopefully, the M’s do not get burned.

As Spring Training approaches, this is one of more head-scratching moves made this winter.