Gregor Chisholm: Blue Jays closer Ken Giles will have Tommy John surgery before hitting free agency. He might be back — if the price is right

Ken Giles will miss not only the rest of 2020 but likely all of next year as well after it was revealed on Monday afternoon that the Blue Jays closer will have Tommy John surgery.

Giles made just four appearances this season because of lingering elbow issues. The first two came in late July before he missed six weeks with right forearm inflammation. The second pair came in September as Giles attempted to make a late-season return, but experienced a drop in velocity and never looked comfortable on the mound.

The 30-year-old reliever becomes a free agent at the end of the year. He initially would have been in line for a big payday, but now will likely be forced to settle for a two-year deal with a low guarantee and a lot of incentives built in. Any team that signs him would know he’s unlikely to contribute in 2021.

“He was a great clubhouse leader,” said Jays manager Charlie Montoyo, who added Giles was scheduled to leave the team on Tuesday. “He was awesome. I love the guy. When he was on the mound, when he was healthy, he was one of the best relievers in baseball. In the clubhouse, he was great with everybody. A great teammate, I don’t think people realize that about him.”

The budget-conscious Jays would not have been interested in getting into a bidding war for Giles this winter, but it’s possible they could be swayed by a potential bargain after his latest setback. The sticking points likely would be tied to how much guaranteed money Giles would get in 2021 and how many incentives are needed.

Giles likely would be inclined to come back for the right price. He has been open in the past about a desire to remain with the Jays and appears to have found a comfort zone after a rocky tenure with the Houston Astros. His familiarity with Toronto’s coaching staff and high-performance department could sway him to rehab in a familiar setting.

Giles went 2-4 with 38 saves and a 2.83 ERA across three seasons with the Jays. He was acquired along with prospects David Paulino and Hector Perez as part of the deal for disgraced closer Roberto Osuna.

Gregor Chisholm


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