The hot stove keeps on churning in Atlanta, as Shelby Miller has been linked to a ton of teams in the past week. Now we have names linked to him in talks, which include Joc Pederson, Marcell Ozuna, and Luis Severino. Overall, 20 teams reportedly have expressed interest, further proof that perhaps stockpiling young arms isn’t such a bad idea by the Braves front office.
Pederson started out hot for the Dodgers, and built up a lot of hype for himself early in his rookie season. His raw power earned him an entry for this past year’s Home Run Derby. However, the wheels totally came off his rookie campaign in the season’s second half, and was one of the worst strikeout hitters in baseball. This doesn’t make sense when you consider that the Braves are trying to stay away from inconsistent power hitters, which is against everything involved in Kevin Seitzer’s hitting approach. I love this kids potential, but I could also see him becoming Dan Uggla 2.0. It’s good to see the Braves pursue young bats, but Pederson is not worth giving up Miller in my opinion.
I feel the same way about Marcell Ozuna. I think he’s a solid player, he’s young and talented, but I think Shelby Miller has a much higher ceiling. I also think that Mallex Smith is going to be the leadoff hitter the Braves have lacked for years. I also would hate to see us trade him within the division to pair up with Jose Fernandez in what would be a great rotation. No thanks.
Luis Severino has also been linked in talks, but it’s unclear whether the Yankees are actually interest in moving the young pitcher. He broke onto the scene as a rookie in 2015, and his minor league numbers are absurd. He likely has more potential than Miller, and has more years of team control, so I would welcome such a move, but I’d rather see the team pursue a young bat.
Overall, I think Shelby Miller is just getting started in this league and still has room for improvement. I view him and Julio Teheran in very high regard, and would like to see both of them in our rotation long-term. However, cost-controlled starters who make All-Star teams aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, and he gives the Braves a ton of leverage on the trade market. The team is right to gauge his value, but I only want to see him go for an overwhelming return, preferably involving young bats.