After much internet buzz Wednesday that BSI looked at, the Red Sox appear to be close to acquiring Wade Miley from the Arizona Diamondbacks for Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, and a minor leaguer. As of this morning, WEEI.com is still reporting this as not yet completed, but that remaining details are just “procedural”. Let’s take a look at this trade and what it means for the Red Sox if it is finalized.
No one should look at the left-handed Miley as a replacement for the recently-departed Jon Lester. As stated previously, Miley is a solid starter, logging about 200 innings per year over the last three years, starting 33, 33 and 29 games. In 2012, Miley won 16 games, coming in second in the Rookie of the Year voting and went to the All-Star game. In 2013, his walks increased by one per nine innings then increased again in 2014 so his walks per nine innings doubled in that span. On the positive side, his strikeouts per nine increased from 6.7 to 8.2. 2014 was the first year in which Miley’s ERA ballooned over four. His FIP remained at 3.98 despite his ERA going up by 0.79 from 2013 to 2014. Last year’s ERA is probably just a good pitcher toiling for a bad team who could not save him runs defensively.
After looking at Miley’s resume, what can we say about what the Red Sox gave up? Reactions on social media seem to be leaning toward the Red Sox giving up too much. Allen Webster always seemed to be a case of untapped potential. Everyone marveled on the movement on his pitches but he had only a limited amount of success. He never seemed comfortable on the mound as a starter in the majors Webster had his moments, but a 5.03 ERA in 11 starts doesn’t scream success.
Rubby De La Rosa seemed to have a higher ceiling than Webster, but he seemed destined for the bullpen because he had not yet developed a third pitch. De La Rosa had a tremendous changeup and an explosive fastball, but without a consistent slider, batters could sit on the other two pitches and hammer it when they guessed right. Apparently, the connection to Pedro Martinez did not mean enough to Red Sox brass to keep Rubby in the fold. A 4.43 ERA over 19 games (18 starts) along with Webster’s struggles led the Red Sox to make this move.
Wade Miley might have had a 4.34 ERA in 2014, but he was pitching for a terrible team who fired their manager. Miley’s home park was more hitter friendly than any park besides Coors Field. The last important factor is that in addition to durability and youth, Miley is under control for the next three seasons.
Stay tuned to BoSoxInjection for all the Red Sox moves at the Winter Meetings and beyond.