December 12, 2015 / 10:34 PM / 3 years ago

Astros complete deal for young closer Giles

(Reuters) - The Astros and the Phillies finally completed a deal to send closer Ken Giles to Houston on Saturday in a seven-player deal that now has pitcher Mark Appel, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 Draft, going to Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Ken Giles (53) pitches during the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won the game 3-1. John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

In exchange for Giles, 25, and minor league shortstop Jonathan Arauz, the Astros sent Appel and right-handed pitchers Harold Arauz, Thomas Eshelman, Vincent Velasquez and left-hander Brett Oberholtzer to the Phillies.

The teams had to reconfigure the swap agreed to on Wednesday at the winter meetings after the Phillies had an issue over the physical exam of outfielder Derek Fisher, reported.

“Our primary objective this offseason has been to add quality arms to our bullpen,” Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement.

“Ken Giles is a premium pitcher who will play an important role by getting critical outs for the Astros for years to come. Arauz is an exciting young shortstop with tools. He adds to our depth of infield position player prospects.”

Giles joins a young Houston team that reversed years of losing by claiming a Wild Card playoff berth last season.

The hard-throwing right-hander posted a 1.80 ERA and 15 saves in 17 opportunities, while striking out 87 batters in 70 innings.

Jonathan Arauz, 17, the youngest player in the Gulf Coast League in 2015 in his first professional season, committing just three errors in 44 combined games at shortstop and second base.

The Phillies, who slumped to a 63-99 record to land in the NL East cellar, added to their starting pitching depth.

Appel, 24, began the 2015 season with Double-A Corpus Christi, where he was 5-1 in 13 starts with a 4.26 ERA. He then was promoted to Triple-A Fresno, where he went 5-2 in 12 starts with a 4.48 ERA.

Oberholtzer, 26, went 2-2 with a 4.46 ERA in eight starts for the Astros in 2015, and in a dozen starts for Triple A Fresno, he was 7-4 with a 3.86 ERA.

Velasquez, 23, went 1-1 with a 4.37 ERA, making seven starts for Houston last season. In 72 career minor league appearances, he is 26-14 with a 3.28 ERA.

Harold Arauz, 20, is 11-8 in 53 career minor league appearances (34 starts) with a 3.54 ERA, and Eshelman, 21, was a second-round pick in the 2015 draft.

Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Andrew Both

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