American League East Transactions: Boston Acquires Andrew Miller; Jays Lose Edwin Encarnacion

Acquires LHP Andrew Miller (from Florida) for LHP Dustin Richardson

Now with organization number three in only his fifth year in baseball. Miller’s career has not obeyed expectations or draft status. Selected sixth overall in the 2006 draft (behind Evan Longoria, but ahead of Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum amongst others), Miller never harnessed his control in Detroit or Florida alike. His career peripherals are almost identical with both:

DET: 74.1 IP, 7.5 SO/9, 5.9 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9
FLA: 220 IP, 7.2 SO/9, 5.1 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9

All kinds of concerning considering the Florida stint covered three years. There’s not a lot to be encouraged about either. Miller’s velocity sat lower than it did during his freshman and sophomore campaigns (~91 MPH instead of ~92-94) while his pitch usage remained unchanged. His whiff rates actually managed to drop below 6%, ending his streak of three consecutive seasons with swinging strike percentages between 7 and 8%.

He turns 26 in May. Since he had fewer than five professional seasons entering last year, the Marlins held a fourth option on him, which they executed. That means he’s been sent to the minors four times since being drafted. During that time he’s had his delivery altered and his workload extended via time in the Arizona Fall League. Still, it hasn’t clicked.

Who knows what Boston’s plan is for Miller since he’s out of options. One possibility is lowering his arm slot (a la Rich Hill) and shoving him in the bullpen as a lefty specialist. Amusingly, this deal happens almost a full year after Boston acquired another one of Florida’s former hot prospects that had worn out his welcome – Jeremy Hermida – the deal then also involved a lefty specialist, although labeling Richardson as such is being kind.

Loses 3B Edwin Encarnacion on waivers (to Oakland)
OF Dewayne Wise and LHP Brian Tallet refuse outright assignments, electing free agency

Encarnacion started at third base in 95 of the Blue Jays’ games last season. Dave Cameron covered his talents here pretty well. In sum, he hits for power and fails miserably whenever it comes to the other aspects of baseballing. For whatever it’s worth (and admittedly, it’s not much) Jose Bautista was the only other Jay player with more than 20 starts. Whether he’s sketched in as the potential starter or not is to be determined.

Tallet is notable for his ability to get lefty batters out and grow somewhat terrible mustaches.

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