D-backs finalize blockbuster trade for RHP Shelby Miller
About 12 hours after it was reported, the Arizona Diamondbacks have made it official — they’ve acquired right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller in a trade with the Atlanta Braves.
The D-backs will also receive LHP Gabe Speier in the deal, which sends outfielder Ender Inciarte, right-handed pitcher Aaron Blair and shortstop (and 2015 first-overall draft pick) Dansby Swanson to the Braves.
Miller, 25, posted a 3.02 ERA in 33 starts for Atlanta in 2015. His record, 6-17, wasn’t indicative of his effectiveness. Miller tied for 10th in the National League in quality starts with 21 and struck out 171 batters in 205.1 innings, which were both career-highs.
Miller was a first-round pick (19th overall) of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009 out of Brownwood High School in Texas.
He made his MLB debut in 2012 and became a part of the Cardinals’ starting rotation in 2013. In two full seasons in St. Louis, he posted a 25-18 record with a 3.41 ERA and 1.240 WHIP, striking out 296 in 356.1 innings.
In November of 2014, Miller was traded to Atlanta in the Jason Heyward deal, and spent just one season with the Braves.
Speier, 20, pitched out of the bullpen for the West Michigan Whitecaps (Class A Midwest League) in 2015. In 33 appearances, Speier went 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA while striking out 36 and walking 12. He was originally a 19th-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox out of Dos Pueblos High in Goleta, California in 2013.
The Braves are getting a nice haul in return. Inciarte was a stalwart at the top of the D-backs lineup in 2014. The 25-year-old posted a .303/.338/.408 slash line while scoring 73 runs and stealing 21 bases. He provides stellar outfield defense as well.
Atlanta also gets Arizona’s two top prospects, according to Baseball America. Blair, 23, was a first-round pick of the D-backs (36th overall) out of Marshall University in 2013. He split the 2015 season between Mobile in the Double-A Southern League and Reno in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Blair went 13-5 in 25 starts with a 2.92 ERA.
Swanson, 21, was the top pick in last June’s MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt. After signing his first pro contract right before the deadline, he was struck in the head by a pitch while working out at the D-backs facility at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. Eventually, he was assigned to the Hillsboro Hops of the short-season Class-A Northwest League and batted .289 (24-for-83) while helping his team to a league title.