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The Red Sox have officially added lefty Wade Miley in a trade with the Diamondbacks, the teams announced today. Right-handers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, along with infielder Raymel Flores, make up the return for the D’Backs.
Miley has been the source of several rumors during these Winter Meetings, with the Rangers, Marlins and Blue Jays all with varying levels of interest in the southpaw. Miley is projected to earn $4.3MM (by MLBTR’s Matt Swartz) in his first time through the arbitration process this winter, and he’ll be under team control through 2017.
Over the last three seasons, Miley has posted a 3.74 ERA, 2.66 K/BB rate and 7.1 K/9 while averaging an even 200 innings per year. He has a 48.6% ground ball rate over his career, which will serve him as well at Fenway Park as it did at Chase Field. Miley posted a 3.98 FIP, 3.50 xFIP and 3.67 SIERA in 2014, so the advanced metrics suggest that he was somewhat unlucky to produce his 4.34 ERA.
While Miley isn’t the durable lefty the Red Sox were hoping to land during the Winter Meetings, Miley is at least younger and far cheaper than Jon Lester, and he’ll slot into the Boston rotation alongside Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly. Boston is undoubtedly still looking to acquire at least one or possibly two more starters for 2015, including a Lester-level ace in free agency or the trade market.
This is the second high-profile deal that De La Rosa and Webster have both been a part of, as the two righties were part of the trade package that Boston received as part of the Adrian Gonzalez/Carl Crawford/Josh Beckett blockbuster with the Dodgers in 2012. As Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona points out, Diamondbacks senior VP De Jon Watson was in the Los Angeles front office when De La Rosa and Webster originally joined the Dodgers.
De La Rosa appeared in 30 games for the Sox (18 of them starts) in 2013-14, posting a 4.54 ERA, 2.16 K/BB and 6.4 K/9 in 113 innings. With Boston openly looking to add top-level starting pitching this offseason and a number of highly-regarded pitching prospects in the minors, it seems as if De La Rosa may have simply been squeezed out of a job with the Sox.
Webster also struggled at the Major League level (a 6.25 ERA over 89 1/3 innings over the last two seasons) but has a higher prospect pedigree than De La Rosa. Webster entered the year ranked as a top-100 prospect in the game, albeit over rather a wide range — he was ranked 46th by MLB.com, and 88th by Baseball America. The righty posted strong minor league numbers and was described by the 2014 Baseball America Prospect Handbook as having “outrageous” stuff “suggesting top-of-the-rotation potential” but there were big questions about his confidence and fastball command.
That brings us to Flores, a 20-year-old middle infielder who played at the low-A level last year in his age-19 season. Flores hit .282/.344/.354 over 233 plate appearances, adding 14 stolen bases and one long ball, but he is known primarily for his glove.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi first reported the deal (via Twitter). Jon Heyman of FOX Sports reported on Twitter that it was finalized. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter) and MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert (via Twitter) reported the inclusion of Flores.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
An undersized 24-year-old southpaw, De La Rosa (that is, the former) performed well in 36 2/3 innings of big league action last year. He carried a 2.95 ERA (backed by a 3.49 FIP, 4.16 xFIP, and 3.65 SIERA) while striking out 7.9 batters per nine and issuing 3.4 free passes per regulation game. He was similarly effective in 39 1/3 Triple-A frames,
The Red Sox have acquired righty Zeke Spruill from the Diamondbacks in exchange for right-hander Myles Smith, Arizona announced. This move was separate from the other trade announced tonight between these two clubs.
Spruill, 25, has thrown 34 big league frames over the past two seasons, working to a 4.24 ERA over three starts and nine relief appearances. He had been a full-time starter in the minors until last year, when he transitioned to a swingman role. He also posted a 6.14 ERA at the Triple-A level — after previously landing in the mid-3.00 level in two seasons in the upper minors — but did see his strikeout rate skyrocket to 8.2 K/9 (with 2.3 BB/9).
Smith threw last year at the low-A level at age 22. He registered a 5.82 ERA over 103 2/3 frames, splitting time as a starter and reliever, and struck out 6.3 while walking 5.4 batters per nine. WEEI.com’s Alex Speier explains (Twitter links) that Smith is athletic and has a very live arm, but struggled with control and has not been pitching for very long.
We at MLBTR would like to thank our readers for their support during this memorable Winter Meetings. Our 24/7 coverage over the last four days proved necessary given all of the news and major transactions that came out of San Diego, and our committed readership was right there with us by checking in with MLBTR at all hours of the day and night. Here’s some more news from around baseball…
- ESPN’s Jayson Stark lists the teams he feels were the winners and losers of the Winter Meetings.
- The Phillies‘ hopes of landing a huge return for Cole Hamels took a hit during the Winter Meetings, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News writes. The Red Sox, Cubs and Dodgers (the three teams usually cited as the top potential suitors for Hamels) all made moves to solidify their rotations, thus robbing the Phils of some leverage in trade talks.
- Athletics assistant GM David Forst discusses his team’s offseason moves, the challenges of competing in Oakland and more as part of an insightful interview with Fangraphs’ Eno Sarris.
- With the Rule 5 Draft in the books, Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper looks at the scouting reports of the players taken and analyzes the prospects’ chances of lasting the entire season on their respective Major League rosters.
- The Mets checked in on Yoenis Cespedes at the end of the season but were told by the Red Sox that it would take Jacob deGrom or Zack Wheeler to obtain the outfielder, Newsday’s David Lennon reports. Needless to say, negotiations failed to proceed from there. Rival teams are constantly asking the Mets about deGrom, Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard, Lennon notes, while the club is instead trying to deal Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese or Dillon Gee from its pitching surplus.
- The Red Sox need an ace to headline their rebuilt rotation, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe opines. From that same piece, Cafardo talks to an NL scout who believes the Sox got the better of the Wade Miley trade. The scout calls the young left-hander an “unrefined [Jon] Lester right now, but he’s on his way to being a No. 2 [starter]. Not sure what the D’Backs are thinking on this one, except to get more bodies.”
Even with Justin Masterson, Rick Porcello and (eventually) Wade Miley now in the fold, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington didn’t close the door on the possibility of more pitching moves. “I think we’re going to keep working and see what comes to us. Our hope was to really strengthen our rotation, our position with the rotation, this week, or at some point soon. Hopefully we’ll be able to do that,” Cherington told reporters, including WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. The GM said he thinks teams can get by without having a frontline ace atop their rotation, though also pointed out his roster has “a lot of younger pitching that we think in time, some of them have a chance to develop into that type of guy.”
Here’s some more from around the AL East…
- The Miley trade hasn’t yet been finalized since the Red Sox and Diamondbacks are “still squabbling about the extra player,” Arizona GM Dave Stewart tells reporters, including MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. The player in question is a prospect Boston will be sending to the D’Backs along with Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster.
- The Yankees talked to the D’Backs and Tigers about Miley and Porcello, Brian Cashman told reporters (including George A. King III of the New York Post). “Did I call Arizona? Yes. Did I call Detroit? Yes. I didn’t have [Yoenis] Cespedes to send to Detroit. We are waiting for something we are comfortable with,” Cashman said. The GM said he “threw a lot of different ideas a lot of different ways” during a quiet Winter Meetings for the Yankees and he’ll “keep conversations alive” throughout the offseason.
- The Orioles “kicked the tires” on Reds outfielder Jay Bruce but couldn’t match up on a trade with Cincinnati, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. In the wake of Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis signing elsewhere, the O’s have a definite need for corner outfield help.
- Scott Boras told reporters (including Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi) that the Blue Jays were one of the teams who had expressed interest in Japanese middle infielder Takashi Toritani. This would be a rare case of a Boras client signing with Toronto, a disconnect that the agent attributes to the club’s policy against contracts longer than five years. “They’re the only team that has said that limitation is five years. When you do that, you are cutting yourself off from a pool of talent that makes it very, very difficult to compete, particularly in the AL East,” Boras said. (It should be noted that the Jays’ five-year policy probably isn’t applicable in Toritani’s case, as the 33-year-old infielder is very unlikely to receive that long a contract from any team.)
Before dealing Matt Kemp to one division rival, they were in deep talks with another about a deal, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). The Diamondbacks rejected L.A.’s request for center fielder A.J. Pollock but was willing to ship top pitching prospect Archie Bradley to add Kemp. Of course, we do not know the details of those discussions, including especially the amount of Kemp’s salary that would have been covered.
Here’s the latest from the National League West:
- The Padres are unlikely as things stand to reach agreement with Kwang-hyun Kim before today’s deadline, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets. With a 2pm PST expiration, we could learn more on that situation soon.
- The Giants intend to add a starter sooner rather than later and do not intend to participate in a drawn-out bidding process, AGM Bobby Evans told reporters including John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link).
- In addition to checking in with Asdrubal Cabrera, the Giants have inquired with Jed Lowrie about his interest in spending time at second or third, also per Evans. (Via Shea, on Twitter.) Lowrie apparently indicated that would be a possibility. The team could theoretically add a player at second and move Joe Panik to third, Evans also told the scribes, per MLB.com’s Chris Haft (via Twitter).
- The Dodgers will be open to moving shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena after the Jimmy Rollins deal is finalized, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The 24-year-old is owed $16MM over the next four years.
It’s been a wild day of major moves in the NL West, and here are a few more news items from around the division…
- The Giants don’t intend to pursue Max Scherzer, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter link).
- The Giants “will go hard on” signing James Shields, Peter Gammons tweets.
- Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart told reporters (including Zach Buchanan of azcentral.com) that Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro or Tigers catcher Alex Avila could be fits for his team in their search for help behind the plate, while the Snakes have no interest in Geovany Soto. Stewart said his team doesn’t intend to trade relief pitching to obtain a catcher, however.
- Also from Stewart, he said the D’Backs aren’t looking into extending any players at the present time, though he named Mark Trumbo, Addison Reed, Oliver Perez, Chris Owings, Chase Anderson and A.J. Pollock as possible extension candidates.
- The Rockies are receiving “massive interest” in Corey Dickerson, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter). Despite all this interest, Colorado would have to get an overwhelming offer to deal the outfielder.
- Also from Rosenthal, it’s been nothing but “crickets” for the Rockies on interest in Troy Tulowitzki.
There has been much speculation about Dan Haren‘s role in the impending six-player trade between the Dodgers and Marlins, as Haren has openly said that he’d rather retire than pitch anywhere but for one of the two Los Angeles teams. Angels GM Jerry Dipoto shot down speculation that the Marlins could flip Haren to his team, telling reporters (including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register) that his team wasn’t trading for Haren.
As we wait for either of today’s two blockbuster Dodgers trades to be finalized, here’s some more news from Chavez Ravine…
- There are rumors around the Winter Meetings that the Dodgers are making these big moves to position themselves to sign James Shields, ESPN Los Angeles’ Mark Saxon reports (Twitter link).
- The rumored Andre Ethier-for-Miguel Montero swap with the Diamondbacks fell apart because of how much money the Dodgers would have had to pay, Saxon reports (via Twitter). Arizona ended up dealing Montero to the Cubs yesterday.
- Also from Saxon, the Dodgers haven’t made any inquiries about Ervin Santana.
- The Dodgers have been talking to other free agent pitchers, however, including Jake Peavy, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweets.
- Rumors of a Matt Kemp deal to the Padres “has legs,” a source tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The two sides have made some progress but nothing is official yet. Yasmani Grandal would be the main piece coming back from San Diego and Heyman hears the Dodgers have also asked for pitchers Joe Ross and Zach Eflin (though Heyman isn’t sure if both would be included if the deal happened.)
7:30pm: Stewart discussed the Miley rumors with reporters, including MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert (Twitter links). Arizona did indeed talk to the Red Sox, Rangers and Marlins about a possible deal, though none of the teams offered what the D’Backs wanted in return. Nothing is currently happening involving Miley, Stewart said.
4:23pm: D’Backs GM Dave Stewart said “We are not talking to Boston” about a Miley deal, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Officials from both Arizona and Boston tell Nightengale (Twitter link) that there aren’t any active trade talks about Miley. The Marlins thought they were close to acquiring Miley before the Diamondbacks pulled out, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports.
3:40pm: The Red Sox are indeed nearing a deal to acquire Miley, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports on Twitter.
3:21pm: The Marlins and Rangers are out on Miley, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, leaving the Red Sox as the likely suitor unless another team has jumped in.
3:02pm: One team that had been in discussions on Miley has dropped out, believing a deal to be nearing between the Diamondbacks and Red Sox, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com tweets.
2:37pm: The D’Backs are nearing a deal involving Miley, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.
12:26pm: Arizona appears to be after young pitching in return, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports.
9:14am: The Diamondbacks are listening to offers for starter Wade Miley, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports on Twitter. Arizona appears to have at least some inclination to move him, as the club is attempting to drop its payroll under the $90MM threshold.
Miley, 28, is in his first of three seasons of arbitratration eligibility. The lefty has been a sturdy presence in the D’Backs rotation over the past three seasons, posting a total of 598 2/3 innings at a 3.74 ERA clip over that stretch. Though his results took a step backward last year, ERA estimators suggested he was much the same pitcher, if not better. Indeed, Miley also managed a career-best 8.2 K/9.
Of course, with that kind of volume of productive innings, Miley’s arbitration earnings will not be low. MLBTR and Matt Swartz project that he will take home $4.3MM this year, and that number will only rise in future seasons.
Nevertheless, Miley is a durable, controllable starter who figures to draw plenty of suitors. The Red Sox, Marlins, Blue Jays, and Rangers are already said to have some interest. Of course, the same things that make him attractive to other clubs presumably make him a nice commodity to the D’Backs, so it remains to be seen how serious the club is about striking a deal.
The Rule 5 draft goes down tomorrow and we’ll keep track of the latest rumblings here..
- The Blue Jays are unlikely to pick anyone in the Rule 5 draft and are worried about losing two or three of their guys, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (on Twitter).
- Some names being talked about in advance of the Rule 5 draft are Jarlin Garcia of the Marlins, Carlos Melo of the Indians, and J.R. Graham of the Braves, according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- The industry expectation is that the Mets will lose right-hander Logan Verrett in tomorrow’s Rule 5 draft, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). Clubs see Verrett working as a back end starter or a seventh-inning reliever.
- There’s talk that the Diamondbacks might select Astros catcher Roberto Pena with the top pick, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- Meanwhile, Callis (Twitter link) says it’s very possible that someone will take a chance on Delino DeShields Jr. and pluck him from the Astros. Yesterday, Houston GM Jeff Luhnow told reporters, including Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, that he did not anticipate a team taking the former No. 8 overall pick.