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Arizona Diamondbacks discussed Shelby Miller with Atlanta Braves

The D-backs quest for young pitching took them to Atlanta, but the price the Braves wanted for Shelby Miller brought a quick end to those discussions.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ken Rosenthal brought us word on the Diamondbacks' interest in Miller.

Okay, that kinda makes sense from an Arizona perspective. A solid young pitcher, with an ERA+ of 115 over his career to date, but under team control through the end of 2018. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2013 and his woeful 6-17 record was a poor representation of his season, as he put up a 3.02 ERA. Not sure when the last time an All-Star pitcher lost 17 games that season! He was particularly infamous for his 24-game streak without a win this year, going 0-16 despite a respectable 3.83 ERA over that time. So, yes, I can see why we were interested. Mr. Rosenthal, can you shed any light on why "talks did not progress"?

Ah. About that... I should note that it does appear to be Rosenthal's speculation that A.J. Pollock was indeed the player the Braves wanted in exchange. I did discuss the concept of trading Pollock, saying "If we want an All-Star caliber pitcher, it's not unreasonable to expect that we'll have to give up an All-Star caliber player in return." Yes, Miller was an All-Star this year. But is he ACTUALLY "all-star caliber", or did he make the roster because every team has to have a player, and he was simply the best on an spectacularly crappy Braves squad this year? It's also worth noting, Shelby's career FIP is significantly higher at 3.82, so we could be looking at Jeremy Hellickson v2.0.

The Braves do appear to be having a bit of a fire sale, getting rid of star shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Angels, and seem to be embarking on an Astros-style rebuild, despite the protestations of their GM. But if that is going to be a long-term process (as the trade of Sommons for prospects suggests), then one wonders why the interest in Pollock, since they're trading one player with three years of team control for another, and getting older in the process [Miller is close to three years younger than Pollock] If I'd to guess, I would suspect Atlanta was more interested in our stock of pitching prospects. If so, good on Stewart for holding firm in that regard.