Trever Miller Rumors

Cubs Release Trever Miller

The Cubs released left-handed reliever Trever Miller, Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com tweets. The Cubs had signed the Praver/Shapiro client to a minor league contract in January.

Miller, who turns 39 in May, posted a 3.80 ERA with 5.1 K/9, 5.1 BB/9 and a 38% ground ball rate in 21 1/3 innings for the Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Red Sox in 2011. He started the season in St. Louis, went to Toronto in a July trade, and signed with Boston after the Blue Jays released him.


Cubs Sign Trever Miller

The Cubs signed lefty reliever Trever Miller to a minor league deal, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark.  The deal includes a spring training invite, and the Praver/Shapiro client will make $800K if he's in the big leagues.

Miller, 38, posted a 3.80 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 5.1 BB/9, 0.84 HR/9, and 38% groundball rate in 21 1/3 innings for the Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Red Sox in 2011.  Miller began 2011 with the Cards and was traded to Toronto as part of the July Colby Rasmus-Edwin Jackson-Marc Rzepczynski-Octavio Dotel eight-player deal.  His inclusion was mostly a salary dump, as the Jays designated him for assignment less than a month later.  After Miller was released, then-Red Sox GM Theo Epstein signed him to a minor league deal.  Epstein is now the Cubs' president of baseball operations. 

The Cubs' trade of Sean Marshall to the Reds created an opportunity in their bullpen for lefty relievers, especially if Travis Wood makes the Opening Day rotation.  The Cubs also have lefties Jeff Beliveau, John Gaub, Scott Maine, and James Russell on their 40-man roster.  Aside from Miller, the Cubs' non-roster invitees include Justin Berg, Manny Corpas, Rodrigo Lopez, Jason Jaramillo, and Bobby Scales.

After the Miller signing, the free agent market for left-handed relievers still includes Mike Gonzalez, Arthur Rhodes, and Hong-Chih Kuo, among others.     


Red Sox Sign Trever Miller

The Red Sox signed Trever Miller and assigned him to Triple-A, according to Dan Hoard, the radio voice of the Pawtucket Red Sox (on Twitter). The Blue Jays designated the 38-year-old lefty for assignment on August 16th and released him five days later.

Miller appeared in six games for the Blue Jays after they acquired him in the July trade that sent Colby Rasmus to Toronto. In 19 1/3 innings for the Cardinals and Blue Jays this year, the 13-year veteran has a 4.19 ERA with 5.1 K/9, 5.6 BB/9 and a 38.8 % ground ball rate.



Blue Jays Designate Trever Miller For Assignment

The Blue Jays designated lefty Trever Miller for assignment, according to a team press release.  The Jays placed Jon Rauch on the DL and purchased the contracts of Wil Ledezma and Rommie Lewis in the series of moves, leaving their 40-man roster at 39. Dan Mennella examined the fantasy consequences of the Jays' roster moves at CloserNews earlier today.

Miller, 38, tossed only 3 2/3 innings since coming over from the Cardinals in the Colby Rasmus trade.  On the season he has a 4.19 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 5.6 BB/9, 0.93 HR/9, and 38.8% groundball rate in 19 1/3 innings. He hasn't been able to shut down lefties since '09.


Trade Reaction: Rasmus, Jackson, White Sox

On the off-chance you missed it, the Blue Jays, Cardinals and White Sox announced a pair of major trades today. The Blue Jays acquired center fielder Colby Rasmus and pitchers Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters from the Cardinals for starter Edwin Jackson, relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, outfielder Corey Patterson, and three players to be named later or cash considerations. Before completing the deal with St. Louis, the Blue Jays acquired Jackson and third baseman Mark Teahen from the White Sox for reliever Jason Frasor and prospect Zach Stewart. Here’s reaction to the trades from around MLB. Be warned, Cardinals fans, you might not like what follows… 

  • The price the Cardinals paid to acquire Jackson and bullpen help was "just too high," according to ESPN.com's Keith Law, who suggests St. Louis' internal emphasis is on manager Tony La Russa, not the players. Law loves what Toronto did and doesn't understand Chicago's move.
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN says the Cardinals had better win this year "or they will really regret this one." He calls St. Louis' move the "worst trade of the year" and gives the Blue Jays an 'A.'
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirms that the Cardinals turned down the Rays' offer of Jeff Niemann and J.P. Howell for Rasmus (Twitter link). Sherman suggests the Cardinals would have been better off accepting Tampa Bay's offer. 
  • The Giants showed how to go for it today and the Cardinals showed how not to go for it, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes.
  • A longtime scout tells ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that Rasmus has a chance to be a star. “I don't understand that deal at all," the scout said (Twitter link). 
  • Matthew Leach of MLB.com likes what the Cardinals got for 2011, but finds it hard to like the deal for St. Louis because of what it means for 2012-14 (Twitter link).
  • Now that Rasmus and Carlos Beltran are off of the market, the list of teams with possible interest in B.J. Upton is taking shape, as Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times explains. The Braves, Indians, Nationals, Phillies, Pirates and Reds are possible destinations for Upton.
  • As Matt Eddy of Baseball America explains, Walters should qualify for a fourth option year in 2012 and Rzepczynski "might be the prototype" pupil for Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of FanGraphs explains that it's easiest to see the trade from the Blue Jays' perspective, since they gave up three relievers and a prospect for a player who can help them contend for 2012-14.
  • At CloserNews, Dan Mennella wonders if Kyle McClellan could be in line for some saves, now that he's back in the bullpen.
  • Tim Dierkes wrote earlier today that “it's hard to see this as anything but a win for the Blue Jays.”
  • I agree with Tim and many of the others above- it’s a win for the Blue Jays. Let’s not forget how much has to be in place for this kind of deal to happen: a creative GM who reads the market well, payroll flexibility (for Teahen’s contract), willingness from ownership to take on salary, enough appealing prospects to be able to part with Stewart and enough bullpen depth to send three quality relievers packing on the same day. This trade doesn’t seem simple and in some ways it may actually be more complicated that it appears.

Jays Acquire Rasmus From Cards For Jackson In Eight-Player Deal

An eight-player deal was struck today, as the Blue Jays announced they've acquired center fielder Colby Rasmus and pitchers Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters from the Cardinals for starter Edwin Jackson, relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, outfielder Corey Patterson, and three players to be named later or cash considerations.  ESPN's Buster Olney first tweeted the full details.

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In Rasmus (pictured), Alex Anthopoulos acquired a good young player who had worn out his welcome with management, much like the Blue Jays GM did with Yunel Escobar last summer.  Rasmus, 24, is hitting .246/.332/.420 in 386 plate appearances, a down year compared to 2010.  He'll be arbitration eligible for the first time after this season, so he's under team control through 2014.  Cardinals GM John Mozeliak recently called a Rasmus trade "highly unlikely," but as Strauss notes, the center fielder has "fascinated and frustrated" the Cardinals over the last three years and made repeated trade requests.  Mozeliak shopped Rasmus to the Blue Jays, Rays, and Red Sox, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  He adds that prior to public criticism from manager Tony La Russa earlier this month, the Cardinals were in contract extension negotiations with Rasmus.

Miller, 38, has been used sparingly by the Cardinals this year, logging only 15 2/3 innings.  Most of them came against left-handed hitters, but Miller hasn't pitched well no matter how you slice it.  About $700K remains on his contract.  Tallet, 33, has been ineffective as well and currently resides on the DL for an intercostal strain.  He spent the previous five seasons with the Jays.  About $263K remains on his contract.

Walters, 26, has logged 50 innings in the bigs since 2009.  The righty has a 4.27 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, and 0.8 HR/9 in 103 1/3 Triple-A innings this year, his fourth stint at the level.  Baseball America ranked him 19th among Cardinals prospects prior to the season, praising his plus changeup but projecting a long relief/swingman role.

Jackson, 27, was traded for the fifth and sixth times in his career today.  The 27-year-old flourished in nearly 200 innings with the White Sox, and improves a Cardinals rotation that ranks seventh in the NL with a 3.84 ERA.  The acquisition gives the Cards the flexibility to move Kyle McClellan back to the bullpen, leaving a rotation of Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Jackson, Jake Westbrook, and Kyle Lohse.  Jackson, a Scott Boras client, figures to test free agency after the season as a Type B.  About $2.9MM remains on his contract.

The Cardinals' bullpen gets a lift from Dotel, Rzepczynski, and McClellan.  Dotel, 37, has a 3.68 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 1.53 HR/9, and 28.6% groundball rate on the season; he excels against right-handed batters.  Should the Cardinals turn down his $3.5MM club option, Dotel projects as a Type B free agent in the AL at the moment.  If the option is declined, about $1.7MM remains on Dotel's contract.

Rzepczynski, 25, switched to full-time relief this year.  He has a 2.97 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.46 HR/9, and strong 65.7% groundball rate in 39 1/3 innings this year.  He complements Dotel nicely, having dominated lefties and struggled against righties.  Rzepczynski is under team control through 2015.  Dotel and Rzepczynski do not appear to be a threat to closer Fernando Salas, writes Dan Mennella of CloserNews.

Patterson, 31, is hitting .252/.287/.379 in 341 plate appearances for the Blue Jays this year.  He restores a little bit of outfield depth for St. Louis.

Though there are eight players in this deal, it mostly boils down to the Cardinals renting Jackson and Dotel and getting Rzepczynski long-term in exchange for Rasmus' three arbitration years.  It's hard to see this as anything but a win for the Blue Jays.  Ultimately Rasmus cost the Jays Zach Stewart, Jason Frasor, Dotel, Rzepczynski, and Teahen's contract.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


Eight-Player Deal Sending Rasmus To Jays For Jackson Imminent

12:08pm: The Cardinals will send Rasmus, Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters to the Blue Jays for Jackson, Rzepczynski, Dotel, and Corey Patterson, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.  Olney adds that Miller is then expected to be traded to the White Sox.

12:01pm: This trade is not yet official because of the money involved, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  He says that aspect may need to be reworked before it's approved.

11:35am: A trade of Rasmus to the Blue Jays for Jackson, Dotel, and Rzepczynski is imminent, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  He says an announcement could come early this afternoon.

11:22am: Edwin Jackson is definitely going to be traded by the Blue Jays, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  Heyman heard it's going to be for Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus.  Rasmus being under team control through 2014 and still highly-regarded, the Cards will require more than just two months of Jackson.  The two teams have talked about Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, notes Olney, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Cards asked about outfielder Eric Thames.

Rasmus is a popular trade target.  ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Rays offered one of Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, and Alex Cobb, and the young center fielder is very much available.  The Indians have interest as well.


Trever Miller’s 2011 Option Vests

By entering the Cardinals-Giants game Saturday night, lefty reliever Trever Miller reached 45 appearances on the season.  The appearance was nothing special, as Miller threw four pitches to Aubrey Huff and allowed a single.  But the outing was signficant for Miller, as it caused his $2MM option for 2011 to vest.

According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, Miller's option will revert back to the club's choice if he spends time on the DL with a left arm or shoulder injury.  He hasn't pitched well this year, but only needs about one more month of good health.

Meanwhile, the Rangers' Darren Oliver needs seven more appearances for his $3.25MM option to vest for next year.


2011 Vesting Options Update

We began the season with nine potential vesting options for 2011, but they're dropping like flies.  With Alex Cora and Magglio Ordonez now off the board, we look at the remaining three:

  • Trever Miller, Cardinals.  The lefty needs 45 appearances for his $2MM option to vest, and he's made 41 on the season.  He could lock in next year's salary within a week, though a DL-worthy left arm or shoulder injury changes this to a club option. 
  • Darren Oliver, Rangers.  Oliver needs 59 appearances for his $3.25MM option to vest, and he's got 46 so far.  Barring injury, he'll get there.
  • Ramon Hernandez, Reds.  Hernandez needs 120 games for his $3.25MM option to vest.  He's played in 65 so far.  The Reds have only 50 games remaining, so we can cross this one off the list.
  • An honorable mention goes to Billy Wagner, whose $6.5MM option vests with 50 games finished.  Wagner has finished 46 so far.  However just last month he repeated his desire to retire after the season.  Having a guaranteed salary for 2011 might not sway Wagner, since he would've made at least that much on the free agent market anyway.  But what if he finishes the season just shy of the fourth spot on the all-time saves leaderboard?  He's currently 12 away from John Franco, who finished with 424.
  • Also of note is Scott Podsednik, who needs 525 plate appearances to be able to void his $2MM club option.  Pods is 41 PAs shy of that mark.

2011 Vestings Options Update

The season started with nine vesting options to watch, but we're down to just five a little beyond the season's halfway point…

  • Trever Miller, Cardinals. The southpaw's $2MM option vests with 45 appearances. He's appeared in 31 of the team's 85 games, so he's on pace for 59. He should get there easily.
  • Alex Cora, Mets. Cora's $2MM option vests with 80 games (not necessarily starts), and he's already appeared in 48. He's on pace for 91 games. Luis Castillo's foot and Ruben Tejada's emergence could stand in Cora's way.
  • Darren Oliver, Rangers. His $3.25MM option will lock in with 59 appearances. He's already appeared in 37 games, so he should get there without a problem.
  • Ramon Hernandez, Reds. Hernandez must play in 120 games for his $3.25MM option to vest. He's appeared in just 57 of Cincinnati's first 86 contests, putting him on pace for 107 games. 
  • Magglio Ordonez, Tigers. Ordonez's $15MM option vests with 135 starts or 540 plate appearances. He's on pace for 141 and 615, respectively, so it'll take a lengthy stint on the disabled list to knock him off track.

The vesting options for Kerry Wood, Brian Fuentes, Billy Wagner, and Matt Cain have already been addressed.