The Red Sox have traded Andrew Miller to the Baltimore Orioles according to Jerry Crasnick. Alex Speier has them receiving left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez in return:
Andrew Miller is being traded to #orioles, says source.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 31, 2014
Source: Sox trade Andrew Miller to Orioles for Eduardo Rodriguez
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) July 31, 2014
Rodriguez, 21, was ranked by Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus as a top-100 prospect before the season began, falling into the 60-70 range in each list. 2014 has not gone entirely according to plan, with Rodriguez putting up a 4.79 ERA for the Double-A Bowie Baysox, but Rodriguez still has reasonable peripherals (69:29 K:BB in 83 innings) and is quite young to be starting in Double-A. He features a low-90s fastball that's anything but flat, and pairs it with a solid slider and changeup for secondary offerings.
We already hit on Miller's story in the build-up, but in case you missed it:
Miller has had his career revitalized in Boston thanks to a move to the bullpen. Once the sixth overall draft pick by the very same Detroit Tigers who are currently trying to bring him back, Miller was traded to the Marlins as part of the Miguel Cabrera deal. His time in Miami was unproductive, leading the Red Sox to take a flier on him as a reclamation project in exchange for Dustin Richardson, who has been out of the majors since 2010.
After a brief, failed attempt to make Miller work as a starter in 2011, the Red Sox have gotten 113 innings of 2.78 ERA ball out of him as a reliever. While Miller started as a left-handed specialist, he's emerged as a strong all-around reliever recently, holding right-handed hitters to a .537 OPS in 105 plate appearances this season.
The Red Sox made it clear they were expecting a legitimate return for their left-handed reliever, and it very much seems like they've found one. Rodriguez isn't exactly going to revolutionize Boston's already strong farm system, but he'll make a nice addition to Portland's rotation as he continues to figure out Double-A. It's an aggressive trade from the Orioles, but entirely understandable given the position they're in right now.
After a day that saw two unorthodox trades for Jon Lester and John Lackey, this is a comforting return to the norm. A good reliever headed to free agency for a good prospect not quite ready to fill the role the contending team needed filled.