Lefty reliever Andrew Miller expected to draw a lot of interest leading up to Aug. 1 trade deadline
The Yankees are 26-30 after 56 games and the noise is getting louder that Brian Cashman should trade as many players as possible before the deadline and get a jump on next season and beyond. Even if the Yankees have a good stretch, many within the game do not believe the Yankees will make it to the post-season.
The Yankees have three relievers that could bring back a significant return in RHP Dellin Betances, LHP Aroldis Chapman and LHP Andrew Miller. And the Cubs are one of several teams that are believed to be interested in Andrew Miller.
Miller is having a sensational season (2-0, 1.14 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 1.31 FIP). In 23 2/3 innings, Miller has allowed four runs, three earned, on 13 hits (two home runs) with three walks. Miller has struck out 42 of the 89 batters he faced.
Andrew Miller is under contract for two more seasons beyond this year at $9 million per season. And his connection to the Cubs’ front office has been well documented. Theo Epstein knows Miller well and many think the Cubs will be in the mix for Miller once he is on the market.
Joel Sherman (New York Post) and John Harper (New York Daily News) posted two reports during the weekend on what they feel the Yankees could receive for Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. And Harper thinks there will be “some serious bidding” for Miller.
Sherman indicated Brian Cashman set a “high price” in the off-season on Miller. The Astros tried to pry Miller away from the Yankees with a “similar package” of players, including Vince Velasquez that was dealt to the Phillies for Ken Giles. Sherman thinks the Yankees could “set an even higher price” on Miller leading up to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline.
Joel Sherman reported the Rangers, Nationals, Pirates, Dodgers, Giants and Cubs are among the teams that could be fits for Miller. Sherman pointed out that the “key for the Yankees is to amass as much young talent with high ceilings as possible.”
The Rangers have a deep system and a bullpen that is a mess. According to Joel Sherman, the Rangers could be interested in either Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman. Jon Daniels has the players to make a deal for either reliever. The Rangers are believed to be extremely interested in Miller. And John Harper reported Jon Daniels “is already preparing for the day Brian Cashman calls and asks what he can get for Aroldis Chapman.”
Players that could be of interest for the Yankees for either Miller or Chapman include INF/OF Joey Gallo, SS Jurickson Profar and INF Andy Ibanez. John Harper agreed with Sherman that Profar could be of interest to the Yankees and he thinks OF Lewis Brinson could also be a player that would interest Cashman.
According to Joel Sherman, the Nationals have tried to acquire Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman in the past.
The Nationals could be the team that makes a deal for Chapman and gives the Yankees what they are looking for. Dusty Baker knows Chapman and how to handle him in the clubhouse. With Chapman’s baggage, the Nationals could be the best fit for him.
Sherman said the Nationals would not likely trade RHP Lucas Giolito, SS Trea Turner or OF Victor Robles. Sherman thinks the Nationals would trade RHP Reynaldo Lopez and INF Wilmer Difo for Chapman based on the return the Red Sox received for Miller at the deadline a couple of years ago. The Orioles traded LHP Eduardo Rodriguez to Boston for two months of Miller.
If the Nationals try to acquire Miller, Sherman questioned the possibility of a Giolito/Robles package working if the Yankees included Brett Gardner in the deal. Another option from the Nationals in a package for Miller could be RHP Koda Glover. Harper reported RHP Erick Fedde “could also be in the discussion” for either Chapman or Miller.
The Pirates could use to upgrade their bullpen but will not trade either RHP Tyler Glasnow or RHP Jameson Taillon for Miller or Chapman. According to Joel Sherman, the Pirates could trade OF Austin Meadows or OF/1B Josh Bell or RHP Chad Kuhl.
Neal Huntington has not shown the willingness to trade his top prospects in recent years. Neither Sherman nor Harper think Huntington will make a deal with the Yankees.
Joel Sherman pointed out the Dodgers “had a trade in place for Aroldis Chapman before the domestic abuse issues surfaced.” That is the direction the Dodgers could go for the bullpen, and not Andrew Miller.
The Dodgers have the players to move for either Chapman or Miller. Sherman mentioned RHP Grant Holmes, RHP Jose DeLeon or RHP Frankie Montas could work in a package for either lefty. OF Alex Verdugo could also be of interest to the Yankees. And John Harper believes 1B/OF Cody Bellinger “could be in play.”
The Giants have a rather weak system and it appears the only player the Yankees would be interested in building a package around for Andrew Miller is RHP Tyler Beede.
The Giants are viewed as the second best team in the National League and one of the teams that could represent the NL in the Fall Classic. The Giants have problems beyond the pen and in the outfield that will have to be addressed.
According to Joel Sherman, the Cubs “late-game bullpen is an area of concern, even with closer Hector Rondon thriving.”
Sherman reported that he “checked to see if they would do a Miller-for-Kyle Schwarber deal.” The Cubs would not make that trade. According to Sherman, the Cubs “love for Schwarber is just too great.”
Sherman pointed out the Yankees “badly need a third baseman of the near future.” Sherman thinks a player like Jeimer Candelario could fit what the Yankees are looking for or possibly Javier Baez.
The versatility Baez gives Joe Maddon is more valuable to the Cubs than Sherman acknowledged in his report. It is highly unlikely at this point that the Cubs would include Javier Baez in a trade. Losing Baez would weaken the big league team beyond any upgrade they could receive at another position.
Ian Happ is a player both Sherman and Harper mentioned could be used in a package to acquire Andrew Miller. And Sherman thinks if the Yankees could improve their return from the Cubs, a player like Carlos Beltran should be included in a deal.
John Harper also thinks Happ could be a player that would be of interest to the Yankees in a package for Miller. Harper reported Albert Almora Jr. would also make sense for the Yankees.
The Andrew Miller rumors have picked up over the last 10 days and will only increase over the next seven weeks leading up to the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline, or until he is traded.