Jai Miller, a 27-year-old outfielder who played briefly in the majors for the Royals, A’s, and Marlins, is quitting baseball to play college football at the University of Alabama.
Miller was the Marlins’ fourth-round pick out of high school in 2003 and opted for baseball over football then, but after 10 seasons in the minors and only 68 at-bats in the majors he’s making the switch.
Back in 2003 he had offers from numerous big-time football programs, including Alabama, and officially committed to Stanford before going pro as a baseball player. According to BamaOnline.com the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Miller is expected to play defensive back for Nick Saban.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.