The Red Sox traded for Diamondbacks' starter Wade Miley back on Wednesday night, but the deal was only agreed to in principle: there was a hold-up over the as of yet unnamed minor-league player that would accompany Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster to Arizona. Or, in general manager Dave Stewart's terms, the Sox and D-Backs were "squabbling about the extra player." According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the deal will become official on Saturday in spite of said squabbling, which indicates that the two sides seem to have worked out whatever the squabble was. Squabble.
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It's a one-year deal, but it's not as simple as the base price tag.
The Red Sox are supposedly offering low-level players along with De La Rosa and Webster, players casual baseball fans are unlikely to be aware of existing since they're still playing ball with teenagers in late-summer. If the Red Sox gave the Diamondbacks a list to pick from, and they didn't pick anyone from it, the only conclusion to be drawn is that they didn't like the options presented to them on the list. Or, maybe more accurately since the deal hasn't been called off, Arizona preferred options that were not on the list to those on it.
Here's the thing, though: They want De La Rosa, and they want Webster -- and they want the two of them working with pitching consultant Dave Duncan -- and the two sides were going to eventually work it out because of that. The D-Backs senior vice president of baseball operations was in player development with the Dodgers back when De La Rosa and Webster were brought into that organization. The reason the Diamondbacks chose to work with the Red Sox over the Rangers and Marlins, the other two teams vying for Miley, is likely because of that prior relationship and belief that the potential of those two former prospects could still be unlocked. The deal isn't about the extra player -- "extra player" are Stewart's words, not ours. Whoever that player is is extra to this deal, and if the two sides have moved far enough along that we know Saturday is the day discussions will be complete, then the D-Backs likely settled for the players on the list, or, at least, someone besides the players the Sox were loathe to include on it.
This deal will get worked out -- or already has -- because the extra player isn't the point. Shedding Miley's eventual arbitration figure and adding two pitchers who still have some measure of promise to them is. Miley should be on the Red Sox by Saturday, as Nightengale reported, and it's probably because the Diamondbacks remembered what the goal of this trade actually was.