Braves: Reminiscing the trade that brought Dansby Swanson to Atlanta


Something happened yesterday that reminded me of arguably the greatest trade in Braves franchise history. Shelby Miller signed a major-league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Miller only spent one year with the Braves, but he should go down in franchise history as a legend. The Braves acquired him from the Cardinals prior to the 2015 season, and he was spectacular despite boasting a 6-17 record on an abysmal Atlanta team. Miller made the NL All-Star team and ended the campaign with a 3.03 ERA. At just 24-years-old, he looked like he was going to be a key piece of the rotation for years to come… but the Braves had a different idea.

That offseason, Atlanta decided to sell high on Miller, shipping him to Arizona for Ender Inciarte and #1 overall pick Dansby Swanson. Braves fans are well aware of what those two have provided over the years. Despite the forgetful end to Inciarte’s Atlanta career, he had several very good seasons with the organization, including an All-Star campaign, and Swanson blossomed into the best shortstop the franchise has ever had.

Meanwhile, Miller fell off a cliff once he joined the Diamondbacks, making the Braves front office look like geniuses. He only made 28 starts for Arizona over three seasons, posting an unsightly 6.35 ERA before he was released. Since then, Miller has bounced around with limited opportunities in the majors. He most recently pitched for the Giants last year, making four relief appearances with a 6.43 ERA. Now, he will try to revive his career with the Dodgers, who — like the Braves — are one of the best at getting the most out of their players.

Without this trade, it’s highly unlikely the Braves ever win the World Series in 2021. Dansby Swanson will be remembered in Atlanta forever, whether he re-signs this offseason or not, and none of it would have been possible if Shelby Miller hadn’t pitched the best season of his career with the Braves in 2015.

Photo: Kevin French/Icon Sportswire

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