Atlanta Braves won’t back down from Miller asking price


The Atlanta Braves aren’t going to back down from their high asking price for their starter Shelby Miller, wanting a promising bat and Major League starter in return.

Despite a 6-17 record in 2015, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Shelby Miller increased his stock as a valued pitching asset for any contending team. While the Atlanta Braves organization could hold on to Miller in the long run, he is generating some interest among contending teams.

However, the Atlanta Braves’ asking price for Shelby Miller remains considerably, wanting reportedly per’s Mark Bowman “an impact bat and a Major League-ready starting pitcher” in any deal involving Shelby Miller.

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The team that has pushed the most for Miller is reportedly the Arizona Diamondbacks, who after just signing free agent pitcher Zack Greinke away from division rival Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to contend in 2016. Pairing Miller atop the D-Backs’ rotation with Greinke could sound appealing for Arizona, but any deal involving him with Diamondbacks would “have to include A.J. Pollock“, Arizona’s All-Star centerfielder the front office deems “untouchable”.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers could look to replace Greinke in the starting rotation with a solid No. 2 starter of Shelby Miller’s caliber. Atlanta has previously been interested in their former top prospect centerfielder Joc Pederson. The Atlanta Braves also reportedly had interest in Chicago Cubs rightfielder Jorge Soler in the package that could send Miller to the Northside.

Interestingly, the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers, and the Cubs have been three teams that often do deals with. Atlanta acquired right-handed pitching prospect Touki Toussaint for utility infielder Phil Gosselin from Arizona last May. The Braves pulled off the Alex Wood/Hector Olivera deal near the MLB Trade Deadline last season. Atlanta re-acquired right-handed relief pitch Arodys Vizcaino from the Cubs among the numerous trades the Braves make with general manager Theo Epstein.

Atlanta is taking the right approach with Shelby Miller in hearing other team’s interest. Once free agent right-hander Johnny Cueto signs, then the market for top-end starting pitching will set itself more appropriately. The amount of money both Greinke made with the Diamondbacks and the Boston Red Sox dished out to left-hander David Price were very much on the top-end of the spectrum of starting pitcher’s salaries entering 2016.

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Expect the Atlanta Braves to continue to entertain offers for Shelby Miller, but unless their understandable high demands are handsomely reached, then Miller will likely toe the rubber in Atlanta Braves uniform at the start of the 2016 MLB season. Miller’s deal with the Atlanta Braves does not expire until after the 2018 MLB season, thereby justifying the high demand for the team’s strong right-handed starting pitcher.