Less than eight months after the Diamondbacks traded Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte and Aaron Blair to the Braves for Shelby Miller, Arizona has let teams know that the right-hander is available, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Not surprisingly, the Diamondbacks’ asking price for the 25-year-old Miller isn’t nearly as high as the cost they paid for him, according to Passan.
Miller was a quality option from 2013-15 as a member of the Cardinals and Braves, with whom he combined to post a 3.27 ERA, 7.48 K/9, 3.25 BB/9 and 42.3 percent ground-ball rate over 561 2/3 innings. Because of that consistent effectiveness, the Braves first deemed him worthy enough to receive in exchange for star outfielder Jason Heyward in December 2014. The Diamondbacks then decided he warranted a Swanson, Inciarte and Blair package a year later.
While the Diamondbacks thought they were landing an in-his-prime, top-of-the-rotation starter, their move to give up Swanson (the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft), a solid center fielder in Inciarte and Blair (a 2014 first-round selection) for Miller was universally derided. No one expected Miller to experience such a precipitous fall from grace, though, as the D-backs optioned him to Triple-A on July 14 after a nightmarish 69 1/3 innings in the majors. In his first and potentially only season in Arizona, Miller has logged an ugly 7.14 ERA. A lousy K/9 (6.49) and BB/9 (4.41), not to mention a dip in velocity, have contributed to his struggles. He also missed some time earlier this year with a finger injury.
Thanks in part to its disastrous Miller gamble, an Arizona team that had designs on a playoff run entering the season is in last place in the NL West at 40-57, 18 games behind division-leading San Francisco and 13 out of a Wild Card position. And now the Tony La Russa- and Dave Stewart-led franchise looks ready to bail on Miller, who’s on a $4.35MM salary this year and is scheduled to go through arbitration two more times.