Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
To ARI: SP Shelby Miller, RP Gabe Speier
To ATL: OF Ender Inciarte, SS Dansby Swanson, SP Aaron Blair
Why It Warrants a Mulligan
The Arizona Diamondbacks began the offseason in clear need of starting pitching after they ranked 23rd in the league with a 4.37 ERA from their starters.
Even after making a splash with the surprise addition of ace Zack Greinke, the staff was still lacking a solid No. 2 starter to round out the rotation if the D-Backs were serious about contending for a postseason spot.
Shelby Miller gave them that No. 2 starter, and a controllable one at that, as he won't reach free agency until after the 2018 season.
His 6-17 record last year was ugly, but it came with a 3.02 ERA (11th in NL), and he was an All-Star for the first time in his career.
Acquiring Miller is not the issue, as he fulfilled a clear need. It was the incredibly steep price the Diamondbacks paid that makes it a regrettable move.
"The cost is comically high," wrote ESPN prospect guru Keith Law immediately following the trade. "They are indeed better, close to playoff contenders at this point, but the long-term cost is just staggering."
Outfielder Ender Inciarte has tremendous value all on his own.
The 25-year-old hit .303 last season and posted a 5.3 WAR thanks to a good combination of speed and defense. On top of those numbers, he's also controllable through the 2020 season, making him a potential long-term piece for the Braves.
On top of that, the Diamondbacks also surrendered the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft in shortstop Dansby Swanson and a quality starting pitching prospect in Aaron Blair.
According to MLB.com's Prospect Watch, Swanson ranks as the No. 8 prospect in the league, while Blair checks in at No. 56 overall.
This was a clear case of the Diamondbacks pushing their chips to the middle of the table and going all-in on their current roster. Time will tell if it was worth it.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted.