While the Cleveland Indians are still waiting for Jonathan Lucroy to waive his no-trade clause and leave the Milwaukee Brewers, they went ahead and added a major piece from the New York Yankees: Reliever Andrew Miller.
It’s still not stated who is going to the Yankees instead of Miller, but after holding out on trading him for a long time, the Yankees seem to have finally agreed there’s more sense in shipping the 31-year old All-Star, who makes $18 million through the next two seasons, than holding on to him while they make the team, and their pitching crew, younger.
This may or may not mean the Lucroy deal is falling apart. Lucroy will join the Indians, who are sending shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang and outfielder Greg Allen and probably one of left-hander Justus Sheffield or right-hander Triston McKenzie, but it seems that right now, he’s interested in some bonus to make him waive the no-trade clause, which the Indians are included in. He’s making $4 million in 2016, and has a team option of $5.25 million next season, making him a very lucrative piece to add.
It’s hard to believe that in the end he says no; he’s been wanting to join a contender for quite some time, hitting 13 home runs this season, batting .300 and a .844 OPS. Miller has a 1.39 ERA, striking out 15.3 batters per nine innings and walking just one batter for every 11 strikes. His WHIP is down to 0.772 so far this season, which would mean a third consecutive sub 1.000 WHIP.
If the Indians get both of them, this immediately vaults them to the top of the contender list in the American League, already leading the AL Central. It’s interesting that they’re finally willing to give up prospects after years of holding on to them even when it was smarter to make trades. This also isn’t a one-year rental type of moves: Both players are probably coming in for the long run, as Miller is contracts until 2018, and Lucroy, if he does join and the team option is picked up, will be on their payroll through the 2017 season.