Thursday, November 19, 2015

Is Shelby Miller on the Trading Block?

I feel like I'm doing more writing in the offseason than I did in the regular season. After all, rumors are more fun than concrete losses. Anyway, is Shelby Miller on the trading block? Yes and no. From what I gather the Braves are not actively shopping Shelby in the same way they were shopping Simmons as an example. For Simmons, they were looking at refilling the pitching ranks and getting value for a guy that they saw as a declining offensive asset.

Shelby is another story. He's an extremely valuable starter, and as such the Braves were only extending offers with extremely valuable position players. That's why AJ Pollack's name from the Diamondbacks came up. However, the Dbacks don't want to part with Pollack so the deal didn't go anywhere. That hasn't stopped other teams from asking.

So is Shelby a tradable asset? Sure, in the sense that anybody else is tradable. But the Braves are restocking pitching so while he's not as untouchable as Freddie Freeman, he's certainly not going to go cheap or for prospects either. He's affordable and effective, and he does the one thing the Braves need most right now: Pitch well and pitch deep into games. Now, if they find him some run support that would probably have won an extra 10 games at least last season.

Miller started 33 games last year with 205 innings pitched, a 3.02 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, and a .238 opp batting average. That's awesome, and yet he only had 6 wins all season. I'm not crazy enough to tell you wins matter like the really old school crowd. I wish they did, because in the prior days of baseball we didn't get this specialized, people weren't blowing their arms out left and right, and guys actually pitched complete games regularly. Wins mattered a bit more back then. Now? They are completely useless. If people reference wins, I just move on with the conversation.

So what players would make sense in a Shelby deal? The names you'd likely hear would seem to be untouchable on the other side. I'd make the deal for a guy like Buster Posey as an example, but I doubt the Giants want to trade him. What about a guy like Todd Frazier to play 3B and a prospect? That's the kind of deal I would expect. It would have to be highly prized talent to part with one of the better pitchers in the league right now.

But at the end of the day, I think the Braves recognize his value, and I think other teams would be too leery of trading an everyday player for a pitcher to make the value match up.


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