Chicago Cubs scouts in attendance for Ken Giles' Pro Day

Chicago Cubs scouts were in attendance to witness reliever Ken Giles' Pro Day in Phoenix. The upside is there, but questions arise.

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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When it comes to reclamation projects, the Chicago Cubs are no stranger to trying to squeeze value out of anyone they can when it comes to producing at the major league level. Therefore, it's no surprise that our friends at Bleacher Nation noted that Chicago Cubs scouts were reportedly in attendance for former elite closer Ken Giles' Pro Day in Phoenix, Arizona.

Notably, Giles' fastball sat between 93-95 MPH, typically where his velocity has been since 2020 before he dipped from about 97-98mph on average. The more significant concern is whether he can stay healthy after missing the majority of 2020 and 2021 with Tommy John surgery.

He pitched only 4.1 frames in 2022 before he was placed on the 60-day IL for a finger sprain in 2022 and didn't see time in the majors after signing a minor league contract with the Dodgers last season in June of '23. He did manage 20 innings in triple-A last year but recorded an 8.55 ERA in doing so.

Giles is only 33 years old, so if he can get his stuff back, he still has an upside to produce on a major league team. After all, he owns a respectable 2.71 ERA as a reliever but has only pitched eight innings at the MLB level since 2020.

The Cubs are likely doing their due diligence here, but signing someone like Giles on a minor-league deal can't hurt. He has recorded 115 saves in his career, but expecting a lot from him is unrealistic. We have no word on whether the Cubs are interested, but these are the reclamation moves Jed Hoyer likes to make.

The Cubs recently signed a trio of pitchers to minor-league deals, including Carl Edwards Jr. before them. A Giles signing is nothing more than an upside play, and if he bounces back to form, he can drastically help shape a major league bullpen for quite the bargain. It will be interesting to see if the Cubs roll the dice.

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