One possible suitor for the reliever are the Pittsburgh Pirates, as Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports:
During his fourth season with the Red Sox, Miller has put together his best numbers with the franchise to date in 2014. The 29-year-old currently has a 2.52 ERA, 64 strikeouts and a 0.941 WHIP for Boston in 39.1 innings pitched.
Along with the Pirates, the Atlanta Braves are also apparently in the mix for the relief pitcher, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
The Braves are believed to be looking closely at lefty Andrew Miller of the Red Sox as their prime bullpen target, with some other lefties in the mix.
Atlanta has identified lefty in the pen as its biggest need, with Oliver Perez, who interested the Braves in the winter, Wesley Wright, Neal Cotts, Tony Sipp and Mike Dunn are among other accomplished pen lefties believed available in trade.
David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution offers more details on the Braves' reported interest in Miller:
Currently, Boston is 10.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East standings and 7.5 games outside of the wild-card chase as well. As the defending World Series champions continue to fall further out of the standings, they can afford to start looking toward the future. Their decision to trade starting pitcher Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants, per ESPN.com, is further evidence of that.
Though the Red Sox are struggling to get back into contention, Miller has been a bright spot in the bullpen. Manager John Farrell spoke about his importance this season, per Ricky Doyle of NESN:
He’s got strikeout ability. That’s what allows him to shut down innings. He’s a closer in a certain sense in the seventh, eighth, whatever inning we call upon him with men in scoring position. The swing-and-miss ability is what allows him to be that type of pitcher.
While Miller is still currently with the Sox, he clearly has a high value for contending teams looking for bullpen help down the stretch.
Both the Pirates and Braves currently need help and have deep minor league systems that they can dig into to acquire him. As they make a push for the playoffs, they could have to contend with other top franchises for Miller ahead of the deadline.
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