The Houston Astros were in the market for a closer. As a result, Stanford grad Mark Appel may get a chance to reach the major leagues sooner rather than later.
Appel was part of a trade Saturday that sent Ken Giles to Houston, where Cardinal grads A.J. Hinch (as the manager) and Jason Castro (as a catcher) are part of the Astros future.
Appel, the top overall draft pick in 2013, went 16-11 with a 5.12 ERA in two minor league seasons. He's leaving a team that remained in contention for a division title throughout last season.
The Phillies struggled to keep their heads above water and were looking for pitching prospects, thus the request to include Appel, who will have a chance to make the big club out of spring training.
The Phillies are also getting pitchers Vincent Velasquez, Thomas Eshelman, Harold Arauz and Brett Oberholtzer.