With the trade deadline approaching and the Atlanta Braves sitting without any “major” holes, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote a piece arguing that the team should go after Red Sox lefthanded reliever Andrew Miller.
Miller has been a productive major league reliever in periods throughout the past three seasons for the Red Sox and O’Brien argues that he is the best arm in Boston’s bullpen:
The Braves had one of their top scouts following the Red Sox in recent days, and Miller is far and away the best lefty they have, and the best available before the deadline. But he surely won’t come cheap, and he’ll be a free agent after the season.
Unless the cost is entirely prohibitive, the Braves need to make this move. Get Miller.
The 6-foot-7 lefty has a .180 opponents’ average (22-for-122) with one homer, 10 walks, 55 strikeouts and a .255 OBP and .238 slugging percentage in 33 2/3 innings, including .167/.231/.250 by lefty batters, who are 8-for-48 against him with four walks and 25 strikeouts.
Miller is sure to cost a bit, as a high-strikeout lefty out of the pen who’s currently going through his best season (5.50 K/BB and 0.95 WHIP). However, the Braves certainly have the need for another lefty with Luis Avilan‘s paltry production as well as injuries and departures in the forms of Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty.
Over the years, Frank Wren has been one of the best general managers in baseball as far as constructing a bullpen goes, and it shouldn’t be a surprise at all to see him acquire an arm for the pen.
But I would be surprised to see Miller come to Atlanta.
Wren doesn’t have a history of spending big (relatively) on high-profile relievers, choosing instead to scour the league for arms that many other teams have discarded before turning them into effective bullpen pieces with the help of Atlanta’s top-knotch pitching development.
If a bullpen addition is on the way, look out for someone you’ve never heard of before.