The Arizona Diamondbacks got their second big name pitcher of the offseason by acquiring Shelby Miller.
Just call the Arizona Diamondbacks the Kings of the Offseason. For the second time in four days, the D-backs turned the baseball world on its head by acquiring right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves. This comes on the heels of signing free agent Zack Greinke to a record-breaking six-year, $206.5 million dollar contract. The cost for Miller was steep as the Snakes gave up outfielder Ender Inciarte, top pitching prospect Aaron Blair and 2015 number one overall pick, shortstop Dansby Swanson.
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Miller, age 25, was 6-17 with a 3.03 ERA for the woeful Braves who scored a grand total of 58 runs in his 33 starts. He was selected to his first All-Star Game and went over 200 innings pitched for the first time in his Major League career. Miller was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009 with the 17th overall pick. He never pitched for Arizona Chief Baseball Officer Tony LaRussa in St. Louis as he did not make his Major League debut until 2012. Miller owns a lifetime mark of 32-35 with an ERA of 3.22 in 102 games, 96 of them starts.
This trade does not come without some controversy. Inciarte’s departure comes with the least amount of contrention as the D-backs enjoy a surplus of quality outfielders. However, Blair joins the likes of Trevor Bauer, Jarrett Parker, Tyler Skaggs and Touki Toussaint as D-backs’ pitching prospects that will have Big League careers outside of Arizona. Also, Swanson is the second consecutive first round pick to be dealt with to the Braves. As you will remember, Toussaint was traded along with Bronson Arroyo to Atlanta for Philip Gosselin. The Minor League system has taken a hit over the past four seasons or so.
Despite the haul given up, this trade is worth it. The D-backs now have to be considered serious World Series contenders for the next three seasons. At least, that is how long Miller and A.J. Pollock have to go until they enter their free agent years. Speaking of Pollock, the Braves were trying furiously to get him to be included in the transaction. The D-backs turned down an earlier trade of Pollock and Blair for Miller and Braves’ pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino. Now Pollock remains to team with Paul Goldschmidt to lead one of baseball’s most formidable lineups. At the front of the rotation is Greinke, Miller and Patrick Corbin. I would stack those five players against any other teams’ five best players. Yes, the farm system took another hit. However, you have the seize the opportunity for greatness. That is what the Arizona Diamondbacks did by trading for Shelby Miller.