The Diamondbacks remained the talk of baseball at the WInter Meetings in Nashville, TN last week as they acquired starting pitcher Shelby Miller from the Braves in exchange for Ender Inciarte and former first round picks Aaron Blair and Dansby Swanson.
Miller’s name was swirling with rumors as Atlanta continues to rebuild their roster which they started last season and while he wasn’t sure if he would be traded or not, he was not surprised once it finally happened.
“Seeing trade rumors going around you never really know where you’re going to land but when I found out I was going to Arizona I was excited,” Miller said via conference call with media on Tuesday. “Obviously it’s an organization headed in the right direction and making some moves to bring in some guys and get into winning ways and I am excited to be a part of that.”
Miller now becomes part of a revamped starting rotation in Arizona. The team was the talk of baseball earlier in the week after making a big free agent aqcisiton of Zack Greinke formally with the Dodgers. Greinke and Miller join a young rotation consisting of Partick Corbin, Ruby De la Rosa and young arms looking to take the next step like Archie Bradley, Braden Shipley, Zach Godley, Yoan Lopez and more.
The 25 year-old is looking forward to being part of this core group of pitchers.
“I’ve thought about that a lot and obviously with the D-Backs bringing Zack in, that was a huge move for them and then once I found out I get to be with the staff they have already with Corbin and De la Rosa and others with huge arms and guys like Bradley who throw gas and then you’ve got Greinke and me getting into that, it’s going to be a fun rotation.”
Miller comes in coming off his best season as a pro. Among active pitchers with at least 90 starts, Miller’s career 3.22 ERA (206 ER in 575.5 inning pitched) is the eighth best, trailing Clayton Kershaw (2.43), Chris Sale (2.91), Adam Wainwright (2.98), Madison Bumgarner (3.04), David Price (3.09), Stephen Strasburg (3.09) and Felix Hernandez (3.11). Zack Greinke is 13th with a 3.35 ERA.
There have been mixed emotions from media and fans on this trade as people are torn whether or not the Diamondbacks gave up too much for Miller. For him personally, he is humbled that he is valued by the D-Backs organization.
“You look at what they gave up and it’s a lot of great players,” explained Miller. “I’ve faced (Ender) Inciarte in the past and he is a guy who has given me a lot of trouble. He’s a great hitter and has done well in the big leagues and then they got a couple big name prospects. So obviously they want me over there and I am excited to be a part of it. I really am.”
Right after the news came down of the trade, Miller excited the Diamondback faithful with a picture of him on Twitter already in an Arizona uniform. He was a member of the Little League D-Backs in Texas which reminds him of one of the most memorable years of his childhood.
— Shelby C Miller (@ShelbyMiller19) December 11, 2015
“I was about 12,” he recalled. “We actually won state that year in Little League in Texas. So I thought that was pretty funny so I put that up. That was actually a picture with me and my Dad. He was my coach that year.”
In the trade, the Diamondbacks also added 20 year-old left handed relief pitcher Gabe Speier who went 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA (14 ER in 44.0 IP) in 33 relief appearances with Single-A West Michigan last season.