NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s not every day a starter who just posted a 6-17 record is considered a hot commodity, but then again Shelby Miller isn’t just any pitcher.
The young right-hander might be available, and the Yankees have been one of the teams Atlanta has spoken to about a possible trade, CBSSports.com and WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman reported Monday.
According to the report, the Braves suggested the Yankees part with Luis Severino in a potential deal. Heyman said while it’s unknown what general manager Brian Cashman’s actual response was, odds are he wouldn’t consider moving a 21-year-old starter with more upside than the Bombers have brought to the majors in many years.
Miller, however, is intriguing. Despite his awful record last season he posted a very solid 3.02 ERA, surrendering three runs or less in 25 of his 33 starts. The Braves simply were anemic offensively.
The Yankees have reportedly been looking for a specific kind of addition to their troubling rotation — ideally, someone younger and with a controllable contract for several seasons. Miller fits that description as he is only 25 and will not be a free agent for another three years.
But, as Heyman noted, it wouldn’t make much sense for the Yankees to trade Severino in any deal, let alone one to get a similar starter. The hard-throwing Severino impressed from the moment he arrived in the majors last season, going 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts while displaying several out pitches.
Cashman has said his primary objective this offseason is to improve a rotation that is littered with question marks.
Presumed ace Masahiro Tanaka went 12-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 2015, but continues to be a concern due to the partially torn ligament in his right elbow. Young right-handers Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda won a combined 26 games, but dealt with numerous injuries. Veteran left-hander CC Sabathia went just 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA and checked himself into alcohol rehabilitation prior to the AL Wild Card game, which the Yankees lost to Houston.
The Yankees have also reportedly considered trading veteran right-hander Ivan Nova, who went just 6-11 with a 5.07 ERA, but is expected to be much stronger in 2016, two years removed from Tommy John surgery.
How Cashman upgrades the rotation will be something to pay attention to as the winter drags on.