Jul 8, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Andrew Miller (30) pitches during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta targeting Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller

A Red Sox pitcher is seeing his name pop up in a few trade rumors and, this time, it isn’t Jake Peavy. The Atlanta Braves are in serious need of left-handed relievers and a recent report named Andrew Miller as their top target.

And why not? Miller is having a career year and his third consecutive good year since transitioning to the bullpen, posting a sparkling 2.23 ERA in 43 games (36.1 innings pitched) to go with a career-high 14.4 K/9 and career-low 3.0 BB/9. With the Red Sox out of contention, it makes sense to explore trades for expendable pieces such as relief pitchers, particularly guys like Miller considering that he is in his contract year. Boston will likely be looking to extend Miller before he hits free agency but if the Braves make an offer that Ben Cherington and Co. can’t refuse, then it makes sense to deal the lanky lefty. Let’s brainstorm what that type of offer might look like.

Relief pitchers do not typically garner huge trade returns but a pitcher of Miller’s quality coupled with the Braves’ desperation could net a better return than one may anticipate. The Red Sox could make a play for Lucas Sims but it’s unlikely that the Braves would trade their top prospect despite his subpar results in 2014 (4.97 ERA, 1.34 WHIP in High-A). If Sims is off the table, the Red Sox could perhaps make a play for Jason Hursh (3.88 ERA in Double-A), Jose Peraza (.347/.372/.461, 42 stolen bases between High-A and Double-A), or Mauricio Cabrera (2.75 ERA, 7.3 K/9 in High-A).

Those are a few of the Braves’ top prospects and there’s no guarantee that Atlanta would deal any of them. If the Braves are unwilling to trade one of those four prospects, however, it makes more sense for the Red Sox to attempt to extend Miller. Dominant relievers like Miller, a rare breed that’s effective against both lefties and righties, don’t grow on trees and it would be in their best interest to extend him as he continues to improve. However, one of those prospects could certainly change their mind if the Braves give into Boston’s requests.

Tags: Andrew Miller Boston Red Sox

  • Michael Macaulay-Birks

    I wouldn’t trade him, I’d extend him…. Breslow will be gone unless the RS pick up his option (unlikely)… I would, however be shopping DuBront… Miller has been nails for the most part since finding his calling in the bullpen.. Power left hand relievers with Miller’s swing and miss stuff are rare…I’d extend him

  • John Finn Jr

    I think getting rid of Miller would be a major mistake. Breslow will be gone, and Doubront is no guarranty to be around either. We need Miller. If we get rid of him, we might have to spend more for another as good as him. Tommy Layne “might” get a chance, but he is no guarranty either.

  • Daniel Wilson

    IMO, there is absolutely zero chance the braves trade any of the prospects you mentioned for a six month rental relief pitcher. There may be interest in Miller on behalf of the braves but there are several other, legit, left handed relief options on the market. Russell, Wright, Bastardo, Patton, Marshall, Outman and Thatcher all come to mind. Miller has been excellent but his past averages suggest future regression to his norms. He’s still a great pitcher but he’s at his absolute peak and if traded the receiving team can’t recoup draft picks with a qualifying offer. So I think the absolute best the Sox’s would get from the braves is Williams Perez or Cody Martin. If there lucky the Sox get Northcraft who projects as a #4 starter but I don’t think it happens. Not a bad haul for the Sox’s with Perez or Martin but a dime a dozen in almost all farm systems. I think the braves are going to trade for whatever lefty mentioned above is the least expensive in prospects, as they’re all very similar.