The Atlanta Braves are fielding calls on Shelby Miller, and the Red Sox are one of the four teams pushing hardest for the right-handed starting pitcher, according to Joel Sherman:
It wasn't even 24 hours ago that Dave Dombrowski was saying he'd be happy to head into 2016 with the roster as it stands, but here we are. The Braves have a starting pitcher, and Dombrowski has the Red Sox in the mix.
Miller has generally been one of the names on the fringes of the conversation for Boston's rotation hunt. He's coming off a strong season which saw him pitch to a 3.02 ERA, the second time in his three-year career he's come in close to the 3.00 mark. It's not quite as impressive as it might appear to our American League eyes given the environment he plays in--it measures out to a 124 ERA+--and the peripherals aren't quite as good, but they're still solid, and Miller would be a positive addition to a Red Sox rotation that now has even more question marks having lost a reliable option in Wade Miley.
Miley, though, does bring up an interesting question: why would the Sox trade Miley only to go out and get Miller? It might sound like an odd question given their relative success in 2015, but...
Humor me for a second. 14-15. Miley will cost a bit more, each 3 yr control. ATL asking Pederson, Severino, Ozuna. pic.twitter.com/iDNVijn86z— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) December 2, 2015
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There is something to be said for results. There's also something to be said for the fact that Miller's 2015 was much better than Miley's by just about any measure. Still, there's a very real argument to be made that Miller would not be much of an improvement in expected value over Miley. Obviously, Carson Smith factors into that equation, but as you'll note in that tweet above, the Braves have been said to be looking for a big return when it comes to Miller. The Red Sox equivalent is something like Blake Swihart or Yoan Moncada. At the very least one of their "big four" in Moncada, Benintendi, Devers, and Espinoza.
It's possible, though, that the Braves are just shooting for the moon, and will prove willing to come down on their price should those offers fail to materialize. And honestly, at this point, the fact that they haven't made the trade already would suggest the Dodgers haven't offered up Pederson. And make no mistake, with his recent results, Miller is worth more than Miley. It would make sense for the Red Sox to trade more than they would have to get Smith in order to land Miller.
Just not that much more. Yes, the Red Sox could use another solid offering to team with David Price amidst the horde of uncertainty that is their rotation. But they've managed to navigate this offseason while keeping their top, top assets in house, and even managed to hold onto their draft pick while adding an ace and two top bullpen arms. It would be kind of a shame to lose the ability to say that for anything less than a top talent. Miller is good, but he doesn't fit that bill.