Diamondbacks go all in with Shelby Miller trade
PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Arizona Diamondbacks announced on Wednesday that they have acquired starting pitcher Shelby Miller and pitching prospect Gabe Speier from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for outfielder Ender Inciarte, pitcher Aaron Blair, and shortstop Dansby Swanson.
Miller, a NL All-Star in 2015 for the Braves, is 32-25 in his four year career with both the St Louis Cardinals and Atlanta. He finished last season with 21 quality starts, a 3.02 ERA, an opponents average of .238, and 171 strikeouts in 205.1 innings pitched. Seventeen of his career losses came in 2015 alone, but he also received very little run support considering he allowed one run or less in 15 of his appearances.
In 2013 with the Cardinals, Miller finished third in Rookie of the Year voting behind Jose Fernandez and Yasiel Puig and was seen as a major piece of the Braves rotation for the future when he was acquired the following season. Now with Arizona, he will be a grizzled old vet on this staff at 25 years old and will be seen as the ‘Robin’ to Zack Greinke’s ‘Batman’ in their starting rotation.
This move, along with the Greinke signing, shows that the Diamondbacks’ front office have made the decision that they want to gamble big to win now by parting ways with both Blair and number one draft pick Swanson. Also, Inciarte’s speed and defense in the outfield is not easily replaceable, so this trade could end up haunting GM Dave Stewart in the end.
However, in a tough NL West division, major moves needed to be made in order to make this team a contender. The trade comes with heaping amounts of criticism considering the pieces Arizona has given up, but in the end the facts are that the D-Backs had a surplus of outfielders and have essentially turned two players that “could” be All-Star caliber players one day into a proven All-Star caliber pitcher now.
The starting rotation will most likely now consist of Greinke, Miller, Patrick Corbin, Robbie Ray, and Rubby De La Rosa. We will see Josh Collmenter return to a long reliever role, which he excelled at, and we could also see Chase Anderson either fighting for a rotation spot or coming out of the bullpen. Plus, younger players such as Zack Godley, Archie Bradley, and Braden Shipley could all make a case for the starting rotation or bullpen as well.