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.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.