Revisiting The Heyward/Miller Trade…

As you know, in the off-season we traded Jason Heyward for Shelby Miller and Jordan Walden. Thought I’d look back at the trade. Walden’s been injured so I’ll disqualify him and focus on Heyward and Miller.

I thought at the time it was a good trade. Unlike many others, I was happy with the guy we got. A good fielding player with solid .OBP, decent pop, a great glove, and good speed. Others however, were pining for the 2012 version, when he hit 27 homers.

Personally, I thought that year was an outlier, and didn’t expect him to repeat it. Many, however cited his relative youth and said it was inevitable.

Fast forward to today: What we have is a guy who’s a good fielder, a little worse OBP than I’d like, decent pop, a glove not quite as good as in years past but still very good, and good speed. In other words, a guy close to what I expected.

As a result, many consider this trade a failure.

Part of that, of course, is due to Shelby Miller. He’s having his best year ever for the Braves, going 5-4 with a 2.20 ERA.

Funny thing is, in a way, we saw this coming. Miller tinkered with a new sinker towards the second half last year and was more effective. Nobody could have expected he’d be this good, of course, but he was on the upswing.

Still, given that, I’m happy with the trade. We needed to make a drastic move after the death of Oscar Taveras, and we did. Heyward, despite the fact that he’s not on pace for 27 or more homers, has been a good addition. He’s hitting .277, his best average since his rookie year, and his .438 slugging percentage is his best since 2012.

So yes, I’m happy. I’ll be less happy if we don’t re-sign him, because then the trade would be a disaster, as we would have rented a good player for a year while giving up the services of a good pitcher for many years. That makes no sense. And remember Heyward is still just 25, so like Miller (who is 24) he should have many productive years ahead of him. Mo needs to start working on re-signing him, if he hasn’t already.

That’s my two cents.


As always, thanks for reading.

  • SweetJamesJones July 2, 2015, 9:26 am

    As a Braves fan, I think you ripped us off. Shelby Miller is living off unsustainable BABIP and other advanced metrics. He’s going to regress to the mean at some point. Also, the Braves have a history of blowing out pitchers arms. Pitchers they develop don’t make it past 25 without arm trouble. They wouldn’t have needed Miller had they not had so many pitchers go down.

    We traded away a guy who had 6.4 WAR last year and has a 2.0 WAR so far this year for a pitcher who won’t matter until 2017 (when they have a legitimate chance to win). By then, he will probably be in decline or hurt given our history.

    My point is. The Braves really got no value because they aren’t winning and are not going to. Miller himself is 5-4, so he is “empty stats”. The Cardinals replaced a key contributor with a key contributor and have the best record in baseball. If the game is really about winning, its no contest who won.

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