This morning the Red Sox were reportedly close to trading left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to the Tigers, but that deal apparently fell through because now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Miller has been sent to the Orioles.
Miller never developed into the top-of-the-rotation starter many expected, but the impending free agent has become a dominant reliever with a 2.78 ERA, .191 opponents’ batting average, and 168 strikeouts in 113 innings since 2012.
Zach Britton has 21 saves with a 1.65 ERA since taking over the Orioles’ closer gig, so his grip on ninth-inning duties seems secure, but Miller should see plenty of late-inning action in high-leverage situations for Baltimore.
In exchange for Miller the Red Sox receive minor-leaguer Eduardo Rodriguez, a 21-year-old left-hander with a 4.79 ERA and 69/29 K/BB ratio in 83 innings at Double-A. His stock has dipped somewhat this season, but Rodriguez ranked as one of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects coming into year and looks like a relatively steep price to pay for two months of relief help.
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!