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Ken Giles rumors expected to heat up as Phillies head south

Everybody keep your pants on, or don't.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The rumor mill circled back around to the Phillies this afternoon as this time it was Jerry Crasnick feeding the masses starving for news.

Once more, it was about Ken Giles. Once more, it was about teams wanting him. Though this time we did get a hint of what the Phillies are expecting to get back in any prospective trade for their young, cool closer.

The Astros have been mentioned puh-lenty of times as a great fit for Giles and for the Phillies, as they have a stash of young players from whom the team would love to pluck a few additions to their budding core. Like who, you ask? Well shut up for a second and let Crasnick tell you.

The Lance McCullers?! The 22-year-old right-handed pitcher, son of a former MLB player named "Baby Goose?" The guy who finished his season after making 22 starts, amassing a 3.22 ERA, and allowing 129 SO and 43 BB in 125.2 IP?

Yes, him. Last season, he and A-Advanced Lancaster JetHawks teammate Kyle Smith mashed their pitching prowess together to tie the JetHawks' record for single-game K's with 17. Together, with the rest of their team of course, they won the California League title. This season, McCullers threw his first MLB complete game against the Orioles.

Velasquez appeared in 19 games for the Astros this season, starting seven of them. The 55.2 IP he got saw him maintain a 9.4 SO/9 and 3.4 BB/9, as well as a 2.76 SO/W. He is one of those prospects you don't have to worry about having Tommy John surgery because he already had it before 2011 and probably has some time ahead of him before everything unravels again. Sports!

This will likely play out the way it always does; Astros fans will act like giving up one or both of these guys would mean the end of the franchise, Phillies fans will reiterate that nobody is trading Giles unless the deal is a sweet one, and unless somebody is willing to walk across a conference room of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville to retrieve Matt Klentak's socks, having blown them off with their offer for Giles, Ken will remain a Phillie on Opening day 2016.

There are, of course, some meetings coming up from December 6-10 that will allow GMs to stop dancing around each other and start zeroing in on their chosen targets - Crasnick says the Astros are sniffing around Aroldis Chapman and Rays hurlers Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee.

Everybody's got some pretty important decisions to make about the status of their pants.