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Hot Stove: Astros trade four players to Philadelphia for closer Ken Giles

The speculation flew for much of Wednesday afternoon, and it appears a deal has finally been hammered out.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports




So it's a three-player package, and certainly not an insignificant one. Velasquez is the clear headliner. Selected in the 2010 draft with the 58th-overall pick, Velasquez has been a name prospect since day one, hampered only by a string of injuries, the worst of which required Tommy John surgery and the entirety of 2011 to fix. He brings a plus fastball and a plus changeup to the table, along with an improving breaking ball and at least average command. The Phillies will hope he reaches his upside as a rock-solid #2 or #3 starter, but his stuff and mentality will play in a late-inning relief role if necessitated, by injuries or otherwise.

In Giles, the Astros have found their coveted late-inning flamethrower. Giles has posted a minuscule 1.56 ERA over the last two seasons (115.2 innings pitched), riding a 96-97 MPH fastball and a slider to glory. His heater can reach 101 MPH with some regularity, and he has a full five seasons of club control remaining.

Also included in the deal are Brett Oberholtzer, a pitchability southpaw who, despite some flashes of success in the past, has found himself on the outside looking in as the Astros have quickly built up rotation depth in front of him. And in Derek Fisher, the Astros part with a talented center fielder with legit power, always a rare combination. Fisher was selected with the compensation pick the Astros received from the Orioles in the Bud Norris trade back at the 2013 trade deadline.