6:56pm: The Braves continue to ask the Diamondbacks for A.J. Pollock, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (links to Twitter). After the D-backs initially rejected Atlanta’s proposal of Miller for Pollock, the Braves came back with an offer of Miller and right-hander Arodys Vizcaino for Pollock and minor league right-hander Aaron Blair, which Arizona also rejected.
Clearly, while the Braves are in a state of rebuilding, there’s interest on their behalf in adding a piece that can help them in 2017, when much of the team’s young stable of pitching prospects will be emerging onto the Major League scene. Both Pollock and Soler (mentioned in the previous update) fit that bill, with Soler possessing even more club control than Pollock, who is a free agent after three seasons (the same as Miller).
6:40pm: Shelby Miller’s name is one of the most popular on the rumor circuit at present, with recent reports indicating that as many as 20 teams have checked in on the Atlanta right-hander. Jon Heyman reported yesterday that the Yankees, Marlins, Giants, Dodgers and Diamondbacks are all among the teams to have expressed interest, and further details on the Miller market are beginning to emerge.
Today, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Braves are highly interested in Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler, but right-hander Julio Teheran probably isn’t enough to pry Soler away from Chicago (links to Twitter). One person familiar with Atlanta’s thinking also told Crasnick that the Red Sox could be a match, though that tweet preceded tonight’s record-setting agreement with David Price.
Meanwhile, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Giants are the teams that appear to be the most interested in Miller, but the Braves might be waiting until Price’s deal becomes official and Zack Greinke makes a decision before ultimately determining whether or not they should move Miller. Greinke is said to be choosing between San Francisco and L.A., so it stands to reason that whichever club loses out on Greinke could show an increased willingness to part with talent to land Miller.
Heyman hears that one name that’s unlikely to be included in a Miller deal is Joc Pederson (Twitter link), The Dodgers have “made clear” that they’d prefer to deal from their deep well of prospects as opposed to part with Major League ready talent such as Pederson, whose name isn’t involved in trade discussions between the two sides at this time.
The 25-year-old Miller is set to hit arbitration for the first time this winter and is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $4.9MM next season. He’s controllable for three more years and is coming off a fine 2015 campaign in which he recorded a 3.02 ERA with 7.5 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 47.7 ground-ball rate in 205 2/3 innings. The ERA, ground-ball rate and innings total each ranked as a career-high for the former first-round pick.