Jason Heyward traded to St. Louis Cardinals; Atlanta Braves acquire Shelby Miller


The first domino has fallen in the John Hart era with the Atlanta Braves, and it brings about wholesale change. The Braves announced on Monday afternoon that the team has chosen to trade both outfielder Jason Heyward and relief pitcher Jordan Walden to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller and pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins.

Without taking a full-on deep dive into the proceedings (which will happen later), this is a clear move toward the future for the Braves. The chief appeal in Miller and Jenkins is the fact that each player is under four or more years of organizational control, whereas Heyward (free agent after 2015) and Walden (free agent after 2016) do not fit that description. Still, Heyward is easily the best player in this trade at this point in time, and that is usually not an encouraging sign, especially given that Atlanta is including its primary set-up man in the deal.

Shelby Miller, who is now 24 years old, is the “prize” for the Braves, but he had a rough season in 2014. Miller posted a respectable 3.74 ERA, but his advanced metrics (4.54 FIP, .256 BABIP allowed) indicate that he was lucky to achieve even that modest level of production. Jenkins is considered to be a rising prospect, but to this point, he has shown little to nothing in the way of high-end production in the minor leagues.

Jason Heyward is gone, and he is a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Atlanta Braves have made a questionable decision (to put it lightly) on Monday, and we’ll be back with additional analysis later in the day. Stay tuned to ATL All Day.