The Boston Red Sox continue to be sellers ahead of the MLB trade deadline, moving left-hander Andrew Miller to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Eduardo Rodriguez.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported the news:
Andrew Miller is being traded to #orioles, says source.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 31, 2014
Peter Gammons confirmed the report:
Andrew Miller went to Orioles for Eduardo Rodriguez— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 31, 2014
Many speculated that Miller would be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver deadline, and this isn't a situation foreign to him. The 29-year-old was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the then-Florida Marlins in 2007 as part of the Miguel Cabrera deal. Three years later, the Marlins sent him to Boston for Dustin Richardson.
"It’s different this time because I’m older and more established," Miller said, per The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham. "But that’s the life of a reliever. You could be traded pretty quickly. I’m aware of it but I don’t spend a lot of time reading the stories or worrying about it."
For most of his career, Miller failed to follow through on the promise he showed coming out of North Carolina. He was the sixth overall draft pick in 2006 and looked like somebody who could anchor a team's rotation for the next decade.
Instead, Miller flamed out as a starting pitcher, compiling a 20-27 record and a 5.70 ERA in 66 major league starts, according to Baseball-Reference.com. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was a paltry 1.40.
Since moving to the bullpen, Miller has had a career resurgence. His ERA has dropped roughly two full runs, and his SO/BB ratio has risen to a much more respectable number in 165-plus relief appearances. The lefty has been particularly filthy this year, so the interest in his services was unsurprising.
Fox Sports' Gabe Kapler thinks that Miller has performed equally to if not better than the much higher-regarded Koji Uehara this year:
Andrew Miller has been equally if not more effective than Koji in 2014. Better FIP, K%, HR/9, xFIP.— gabe kapler (@gabekapler) June 30, 2014
With the Red Sox last in the American League East and Miller's contract up at the end of the year, it made sense that they traded him despite all of his success on the mound.
ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes thinks Miller could almost single-handedly propel a team to the Fall Classic:
If Sox traded Andrew Miller, he could put a team in the World Series. He's that dominant.— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) July 19, 2014
That may seem like an overstatement, but Uehara was among Boston's most important players as it won the 2013 World Series. Having a trusted arm for late-inning, high-pressure situations can be an invaluable asset in the postseason.
The Orioles still have plenty of work to do if they're going to make the playoffs, but getting Miller only furthers that goal. Meanwhile, the Red Sox traded away an impending free agent for a couple of pieces that could help them down the line.
It's a logical deal for both sides in that regard. As for Miller, he joins his fourth MLB team riding a nice wave of success that he'll look to continue with an eye on his next contract.