Cardinals Champs, Braves Chumps In Jason Heyward For Shelby Miller Deal
Today, the Braves traded once franchise player Jason Heyward to the Cardinals for former first round pick Shelby Miller. Reliever Jordan Walden and volatile pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins also changed hands and helps frame the argument. Atlanta made a deal out of desperation while the Cardinals traded in an attempt to win the World Series in 2015.
For the Cardinals, this deal lays things out beautifully for a 2015 run. Miller exits stage left, but Walden’s acquisition allows Carlos Martinez to stop bouncing between roles. In 2014, Miller accumulated 0.2 WAR. Truth be told, the Texan has been a disappointment since taking the National League by storm during the first half of the 2013 season.
In the outfield, Jason Heyward mans right field and can sit against tough lefties in favor of Randal Grichuk. Grichuk can also play some centerfield and accumulate 100 games played between all three outfield spots. Previously at ROTOscouting, we discussed how the team has gradually worked young players into the fold before become starters at the MLB level.
As for the prospect, Tyrell Jenkins was once compared to James McDonald, a Dodgers and Pirates pitcher who had big stuff, but failed to put it together. In 512.1 career innings, the right-hander accumulated 3.2 WAR. Since then, the former first round pick has regressed. Yikes.
Can St. Louis sign Jason Heyward to a long term deal? It’s to be determined, but Matt Holliday is a great example of a player who was expected to leave the Cardinals for more money and didn’t. If Heyward has other motivations beyond signing the biggest, fattest contract possible and wants to play for an A+ organization, he’ll stay.
What A Jason Heyward Trade Says About The Braves
If Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy hadn’t succumbed to Tommy John surgery, would this trade happen? Probably not. Same can be said for the Cardinals and the Oscar Taveras tragedy. Unfortunately for the Braves, their rotation consists of Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Mike Minor and a big pile of nothing. Aaron Harang and Ervin Santana turned out to be great acquisitions for the 2014 season, but they need reinforcements moving forward.
Enter Shelby Miller who is a fine fourth starter who’s under team control for four more years. The catch is Miller was little more than a replacement player in his second full season. After a strong start to his career, the league adjusted and the right-handed hurler stayed the same. Roger McDowell is a magician of a pitching coach, so maybe he can revamp Miller and set him on a better path. But if it doesn’t happen and the Texan repeats his 2014 performance, he’s a non-tender candidate after each year of arbitration. Cheap players are not assets unless they perform.
Adding Jordan Walden to the deal is little more than a salary dump. Heading into arbitration, the Braves want to go cheap. If a mini-rebuild is in order in anticipation of a new stadium in 2017, the former Angels closer isn’t a necessity as he’ll hit free agency before the park opens.
In a previous episode of the ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast, the Justin Upton/Jason Heyward free agency situation was discussed at length and we agreed a trade was needed to reset the roster and push forward. The problem is the talent acquired and if it has 10% of the value the Braves brass wants the fan base to believe it does. Once upon a time, Jason Heyward was the Braves’ knight in shining armor. With him being one of the first players scouted when Scouting The Sally was in its infancy, it’s sad to see the former #1 prospect in all of baseball go. Here’s to hoping he becomes the star Atlantians envisioned back in 2010.
18 Nov 2014 / Mike Newman /
Categories: MLB Analysis
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