Astros get swing-and-miss stuff from Giles, but at what cost?

Closer Ken Giles was traded to Houston last week in what turned out to be a seven-player deal. Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports

Editor's note: A key component changed from the time this trade was first announced Wednesday to when it was finalized Saturday morning. Outfield prospect Derek Fisher, who was set to be traded to the Phillies, was pulled out of the deal and replaced by former No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel and pitcher Harold Arauz. Meanwhile, the Astros also acquired middle-infield prospect Jonathan Arauz (no relation). Keith's analysis of those players is below the original post.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Astros' playoff exit was largely tied to a problem in their bullpen, which they've addressed using some of the bulk in their farm system while keeping all of their top prospects. For the Phillies, it's a no-brainer to deal a 70-inning-a-year closer -- one who has a very short track record of pitching at this level of performance -- for three prospects and a needed rotation option.

The Astros' bullpen was a weakness in one specific way: They couldn't miss bats. It wasn't an ineffective bullpen, like the Dodgers' non-Jansen relievers or the Red Sox's relievers for most of the year, but they couldn't miss bats and it cost them badly in October. Whether they view Ken Giles as a closer or as a more fungible high-leverage option when they need a strikeout or two, he's better than any reliever they had in 2015 by a pretty significant margin.