After a disastrous first season, Shelby Miller is on the trading block for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are hoping someone takes him or someone else from their long list of young, controllable starting pitchers.
After adding Taijuan Walker, the Diamondbacks have five pitchers between the ages of 24 and 26, with at least three years of control: Miller, Walker, Robbie Ray, Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley. There’s also Patrick Corbin who is 27 with two years of control left. But the interesting player in this situation is Miller, who came in at a very high price, completely flopped the first season, and the Diamondbacks almost traded him before the deadline but the ownership blocked the move, hoping to see more from the 26-year old before they give up on him.
How bad was Miller? Well, after a All-Star season in 2015 with the Atlanta Braves, in which he posted a 3.02 ERA in over 205 innings, Miller started in just 20 games for the Diamondbacks, in between getting demoted to the minors. He finished with a 6.15 ERA, managing 101 innings in his appearances. He finished with a 1.673 WHIP while striking out only 1.67 batters per each one he walked. He has never been too efficient in that aspect, but last season was spectacular in its awfulness.
The Diamondbacks, or at least the members of the organization hoping that Miller does get traded eventually, are hoping for two things: That teams recognize he is only one year removed from a very good season with the Braves, and an overall strong 2013-2015 stretch; and that by moving him down to the minors, it helped teams get one more year of control over him by delaying his first free agency offseason. But no trade will happen unless Miller has a decent start to 2017. He made $4.3 million last season, and will make around $4.9 million in 2017. He becomes a free agent in 2019 at the earliest.