It might have been the trade of the offseason so far as right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller was traded along with left-handed pitcher Gabe Speier to Arizona for outfielder Ender Inciarte, infielder Dansby Swanson, and right-handed pitcher Aaron Blair. Miller was rumored to be on the trading block which was shocking since he was only 25 years old and he had a 3.02 ERA for the Braves last season. Atlanta is looking to build towards the future, so having a star player like Miller on their roster that they would just basically waste for the next few years made no sense for the Braves. The Diamondbacks have made it a priority this offseason to make major improvements to their pitching and that is exactly what they have done with the additions of Zack Greinke and now Shelby Miller. The Diamondbacks now have one of the best rotations in the MLB as they have Greinke, Miller, and Patrick Corbin at the top of their rotation. Also, the Diamondbacks acquired minor league pitcher Gabe Speier in the trade. This is the 3rd time in 12 months that Speier has been traded, but he is just an afterthought in this trade. However, he did show some promise while having a 2.86 ERA in low-a. Speier isn’t a highly ranked prospect at all, but Arizona is hoping that they can at least get something out of him in the future. Meanwhile, the Braves also acquired a proven major league player with center fielder Ender Inciarte. He doesn’t have much power in his bat, yet he is a career .292 hitter and he gives the Braves a lot of speed. Inciarte not only will make an impact for the Braves in 2016, but they are most likely getting a everyday center fielder for many years to come. Also, acquiring Dansby Swanson might prove to be the best piece of this deal in the end for Atlanta. Swanson was just the number 1 overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft and he was the number 1 prospect in the Diamondbacks minor league system, so there are obviously high hopes for him. Swanson hit .289 last season in 22 games and Atlanta is hoping that he can be at the MLB level making an impact in a few years. Atlanta also traded Andrelton Simmons this offseason, so they will likely wait for Swanson to fill that shortstop position in the future. The Braves also acquired the Diamondbacks number 3 prospect with right-handed pitcher Aaron Blair. Blair is closer to making his MLB debut than Swanson is and in 1 or 2 years Blair could be a big part of the Braves starting rotation. Blair went 6-3 with a 2.70 ERA in Double-A last season, so it is possible that he could move up to Triple-A sometime during the 2016 season. Overall, the Diamondbacks are set for the future with 3 very young and talented players.
Diamondbacks Grade: A – The Diamondbacks gave up a ton to get Shelby Miller, but now Arizona has a tremendous starting rotation for at least the next few years. Arizona has a lot of good position players and now that they’ve acquired Miller then this team might be considered a legitimate contender.
Braves Grade: A+ – It is always really tough getting rid of a player like Shelby Miller. However, the Braves made the right decision for the future as they received 3 tremendously talented young players in return. Atlanta won’t compete in 2016, but now that they have Blair, Swanson, and Inciarte then they could be a very good team in 2017 or 2018.