What Does Miley Trade Mean for Arizona?


Sep 15, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Wade Miley (36) throws during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The deal is done, with Arizona getting the final piece they (supposedly-read on!) coveted so much, Rubby De La Rosa, and Allen Webster. Boston gets the durable, reliable, and bearded Wade Miley. So long, 36.

Wade isn’t an ace. We know that. But he was our ace (sans Corbin). So why give him up? Simple, he’s due for arbitration, and for an increase in salary – an increase the Diamondbacks simply aren’t willing to pay for.

Prior the trade, the budget rested just over $100M for 2015, and Dave Stewart and pals would much rather be around the $90M mark for next season, according to numerous reports.

Miley has a decent career line, one made much more interesting by his ability to eat innings. In 3.5 years in the bigs, Wade has posted a 3.79 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and a 1.02 GB/FB ratio … so he induces more groundballs than fly-balls, but not by much.

De La Rosa, on the other hand, has a GB/FB ratio of .91, and induces a few more fly-balls than groundballs. Miley’s career FIP is a very good 3.80. For reference, King Felix’s career FIP is 3.15, not far off Miley’s number. De La Rosa’s career FIP is 4.27, which is 4th or 5th starter territory.

So …. why? The rumors are rampant. One of the more popular stories is that Raymel Flores is the key part of the deal.

Personally, I doubt that’s the case. To be quite honest, Flores seems to be more of a Didi Gregorious type shortstop, but slightly weaker with the bat and the glove, although faster than Didi. So let’s abolish that rumor out of common sense. The second, and probably more accurate, rumor is that Rubby De Le Rosa was the key component.

While his numbers certainly are not mind-blowing by any means, his scouting report reads well for a mid-to-low payroll team like the Arizona Diamondbacks. He’s a three pitch pitcher, fastball, change, slider.

The fastball is filthy, with swing-and-miss potential, and Rubby can reach 100MPH when he reaches back. His fastball is optimal around 95-97, however, as his control is shaky when he hits 100. His change up is plus most of the time, again with minus control. De Le Rosa’s slider is decent, showing as a plus pitch at times, but few and far between – again control issues plague him. However, given Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan’s affinity to find pitchers that are diamonds that need only be polished, I trust this trade.

For what it’s worth, Allen Webster is the 3rd piece of this trade puzzle, but he has minimal big league experience. In 18 games started, he’s hurled 89.1 innings, and posted a WHIP of 1.5+ and an ERA of 6.25. Primarily a fly-ball pitcher, Webster seems to slot in as the ‘throw-in’ to this deal, just to balance the scale. Not sure he’ll spend any significant time in the bigs.