Winter Meetings Trade Analysis: Starlin Castro, Shelby Miller on the Move Among Other Deals

by Brian Roach on December 9, 2015

Starlin Castro - USA Today Sports Images

​Trades involving Shelby Miller, Starlin Castro and Wade Miley are discussed by Brian Roach...

The biggest deal of the day came to new surprise as Shelby Miller (SP, ARZ) was sent along with left-handed prospect Gabe Speier from the Atlanta Braves to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for outfielder Ender Inciarte, right-handed pitching prospect Aaron Blair and shortstop prospect Dansby Swanson. Swanson was drafted No. 1 overall in the draft back in June.

 

This deal adds another potent starter to the DBacks rotation in Miller who had a career-low ERA of 3.02 ERA in 2015 and is a viable No. 2 or No. 3 in a rotation with Patrick Corbin and Zack Greinke. The young starter should see an added boost pitching against the weaker offenses in the NL West even with the hitter friendly park of Chase Field. The offense behind him ranked as one of the best in the NL, so the run support will be there even when he struggles.

As for the Braves, Inciarte should slot right into one of the vacant outfield spots and be a solid run scoring threat towards the top of the lineup and had a solid .301/.338/.408 stat line last season. With some solid defense and average power, Inciarte is the one piece that will be at the ready at the major league level in 2016. As for Swanson, he will be an elite talent once he makes it up the ranks of the Braves farm system and should be able to hit for average and power while playing shortstop at a high level.

In other trade news, after signing Ben Zobrist to a four-year deal, the Chicago Cubs traded middle infielder Starlin Castro (pending medical reviews) to the New York Yankees for right-hander Adam Warren and infielder Brendan Ryan.

This deal makes sense for the Cubs as they already have Addison Russell and Javier Baez to find spaces for and with Zobrist in the mix Castro would not fit into their lineup on an everyday basis. This also solidifies their bullpen or maybe a fifth starter spot if the Cubs use Warren like the Yankees did as a spot starter.

The Yankees acquire a very talented athlete in Castro who should fit right into the middle of their order. The offensive numbers should blossom at Yankee Stadium over the next four seasons and the 25-year-old is just about to hit his prime years. The three-time All Star should see time at short and second over the next few seasons as the Yankees like to move their middle infielders around. He might even see some third if necessary.

One other trade of note in the AL East that happened Monday: young lefty Wade Miley was sent with reliever Jonathan Aro from the Boston Red Sox to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for electric reliever Carson Smith and lefty Roenis Elias.

Miley will be an innings eater and a solid pitcher at Safeco Field for the Mariners and should be a No. 2 or 3 in the rotation behind Felix Heranandez. He might not get as much run support, but he did lead the Red Sox with 11 wins in a down season for the left-handed starter. Aro will slot in as a middle reliever for the Mariners.

With Smith and Elias under control until at least 2019, the Red Sox come away with a steal in this deal. Smith was an electric reliever with an 11.8 K/9 and a 2.38 ERA in 70 innings last season. His 64.8 ground-ball rate ranked sixth among qualified relievers. As for Elias, he started for the Mariners, but with the Red Sox rotation filled with the likes of David Price, Clay Buchholz, Eduardo Rodriguez, Rick Porcello and Joe Kelly along with youngsters Henry Owens and Brian Johnson. If Elias hopes to remain a Red Sox, then he will likely move to a lefty specialist role in the bullpen. Lefties have a .218/.304/.332 clip over his career against Elias. Plus, he could throw harder than he does in the rotation in a shorter bullpen role.

 

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