No Major League team has made more headlines in the last week than the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Friday, Arizona shocked the baseball world by signing coveted free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke to a $206 million contract.
They continued their evolution Tuesday night by swinging a five-player trade to acquire right-hander Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves.
There’s been plenty of reaction to the deal, both positive and negative for the D-backs.
Keith Law of ESPN is a fan of Miller’s, but thought the D-backs gave up way too much.
But the cost is comically high. Shortstop Dansby Swanson was the first overall pick in this June’s draft; thanks to a rule change this summer, teams can now trade drafted players in the ensuing offseason rather than having to wait until one year past their signing dates, so Swanson can report to Orlando, Florida, in late February rather than going through the charade that surrounded Trea Turner last year.
Law points out Swanson’s value and the fact that Blair is major-league ready. He admits the D-backs are “close to playoff contenders at this point” but called the long-term cost of the deal “staggering.”
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports wrote a piece in which other big-league front office types shared their reactions to the trade.
“Worst trade I’ve ever seen,” one executive said of the D-backs’ acquisition of right-hander Shelby Miller on Tuesday.
“Holy crap for Atlanta,” said another.
“Grand slam for the Braves,” said a third.
Those quotes don’t paint a pretty picture for the D-backs, but as Rosenthal points out, Arizona is fully engaged in win-now mode, and potentially two of the three pieces they sent to Atlanta wouldn’t have helped them in 2016 anyway.
On MLB Network Tuesday night, analyst Jon Heyman shared his thoughts on the trade, and was a lot more positive in doing so.
“Inciarte is a very fine outfielder with speed, but Arizona is trading from strength there,” he said. “They have an excellent stockpile of outfielders — they actually have an excellent team in terms of the every-day lineup — and now they’ve put together a very fine pitching staff. I do believe, they are the favorite in the NL West right now.”
Jeff Sullivan of Fan Graphs wasn’t a fan of the deal from Arizona’s standpoint.
Kudos to the Diamondbacks — they got Miller, who they wanted. They also got Gabe Speier, who is a player. But Miller didn’t come for free. In exchange, the Braves got Ender Inciarte. Also, the Braves got Dansby Swanson. Also, the Braves got Aaron Blair. Inciarte being a quality, cost-controlled outfielder. Swanson being last year’s first overall pick. Blair being possibly or probably a top-100 starter prospect who’s close to the majors. Don’t get me wrong, Miller is plenty interesting. He ought to help Arizona. Yet the trade looks like a clear, obvious mistake.
• Braves rebuild in a big with Miller trade (by Jonathan Mayo/MLB.com)
• Diamondbacks pay steep price to improve rotation with Shelby Miller (by Cliff Corcoran/Sports Illustrated)
• ‘Very steep’ price for pitching on display in Shelby Miller trade (by Scott Lauber/Boston Herald)
• The Shelby Miller trade shows the Diamondbacks’ urgency and the Braves’ larceny (by Grant Brisbee/SB Nation)
• Breaking down Braves’ haul for Shelby Miller (by Zach Dillard/Fox Sports South)
• Shelby Miller to Diamondbacks: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction (by Mike Chiari/Bleacher Report)