Shelby Miller’s season has gone so poorly that the Diamondbacks demoted the once-promising pitcher to Triple-A Reno. Still, at least two teams may have interest in the 25-year-old right-hander.
According to Robert Murray of Today’s Knuckleball, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins have inquired about Miller, who has a 7.14 ERA and 1.745 WHIP in 14 starts this year. He cites “league sources” and writes that both the Dodgers and Marlins are known to be searching for starting pitching.
“That being said, the D-backs are telling teams they are ‘not giving him away,'” Murray wrote.
Miller was acquired in an offseason trade by the Diamondbacks that sent former No. 1 pick Dansby Swanson, top pitching prospect Aaron Blair and speedy outfielder Ender Inciarte to the Atlanta Braves. Now, Miller’s poor performance may have prompted teams to find out whether they can get a once-promising pitcher while his stock is low.
In Atlanta last year, Miller posted a 3.02 ERA and 171 to 73 K/BB ratio while surpassing the 200-inning mark for the first time in his career. In May, he came within one out of a no-hitter and finished what eventually became a two-hit shutout of the Marlins.
He’s pitched past the sixth inning only once in 2016.
Murray points out that the second-place Dodgers are faced with injuries to several starting pitchers, not the least of whom is Clayton Kershaw. Though out with a herniated disk, the three-time Cy Young Award winner could be back early next week. Starters Alex Wood and Brett Anderson could return in August, according to MLB.com’s injury report.
The Marlins, meanwhile, are seven games over .500 and are tied with the Mets for the NL’s second wild card spot. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro recently wrote that the Fish could trade for starting pitching, while Murray’s piece pointed to a similar report from the Miami Herald.
The Diamondbacks are in last place in the NL West, 17 games out of the first place Giants. With most key players under team control for coming seasons, the D-backs might not aggressively look to sell off major pieces at the upcoming trade deadline. Still, cutting losses with Shelby Miller as he tries his luck with another franchise could be a win-win.