We previously covered the D-backs interest in Shelby Miller, who certainly fits the bill of a young starting pitcher with significant team control. Two weeks ago, Ken Rosenthal speculated that the "piece from the D-backs major-league core" they wanted was perhaps A.J. Pollock. At the time, there wasn't much to back that speculation, in terms of any fully formed trade, but Rosenthal this evening came back with a solid proposal, apparently made by Atlanta to Arizona:
#Braves came back with Miller and Arodys Vizcaino for Pollock and Aaron Blair. AZ again said no.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 2, 2015
I hope the Diamondbacks didn't just say "No". I trust their reaction was more along the lines of Sir Ben Kingsley's response in Sexy Beast. [Clip below severely NSFW for language: everyone else, turn your speakers up loud and enjoy 16 seconds of blistering intensity].
While Vizcaino was very good last year for the Braves, he has a whopping total of 56 innings of major-league experience. Admittedly, that's 56 more innings than Aaron Blair, but it would be a highly questionable decision to trade for even a well-established major-league reliever, and give up your top pitching prospect. It certainly makes sense for the Braves, with Vizcaino, despite his lack of games, already arb-eligible in 2016 (as a super-two). Trading that for a full six years of control from Blair would be more logical, from the point of view of their rebuilding process, than a swap of players with three years control, as in a straight Pollock/Miller deal.
But for the D-backs? Miller for Blair is the kind of the deal that might possibly make sense, if you came across it in a dimly-lit room and couldn't remember where you put your glasses. Still, I'm not certain there'd be all that much difference between the pair's performance in 2016, and obviously, the further down the road that goes, the more likely it is to favor Atlanta. Even if you equate those two, that would then leave the other half of the trade as three years of A.J. Pollock for four years of Arodys Vizcaíno - and, I'm afraid, as far as that goes, I would be referring you back to the eloquently-expressed opinion of Sir Ben, above.
Jon Heyman says as many as 20 of the other 29 teams have checked in on Miller's availability, to some degree or other, and that's understandable, especially for teams that aren't able to compete for the top tier of free-agents - which it appears depressingly clear, increasingly seems to include the D-backs. It doesn't seem that Atlanta are singling out Arizona here: Heyman reports they also asked the Yankees for top young righthanded prospect, Luis Severino. I don't blame them, since all it takes is one team dumb enough to agree, and the Braves can cash in on the young pitcher, leaving their trading partner to repent at leisure.
Let's just hope that one team is not the Diamondbacks. Because the price Rosenthal quotes is simply too high.