Red Sox send LHP Andrew Miller to Orioles for LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, stockpile potential rotation members and trade chips

July 31, 2014 - 11:26 am
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According to an industry source, the Red Sox have sent left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to the Orioles in exchange for left-handed starting prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez, 21, is viewed as perhaps the Orioles' fourth-best pitching prospect, behind largely untouchable young starters Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey. The 21-year-old out of Venezuela was rated by Baseball America as the No. 65 overall prospect in the game and the No. 3 Orioles prospect entering the year. He struggled this year in Double-A Bowie, going 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA with 7.5 strikeouts and 3.2 walks per nine innings in 82 2/3 frames, but Baseball America described the 6-foot-2 southpaw as a pitcher who sits at 92-93 mph and can touch 95 mph with a slider and changeup that give him a back-end starter projection. He contributes to the Sox' massive stockpiling of young starting pitching prospects in the upper minors and big leagues. The Sox now have: Rubby De La Rosa (majors) Allen Webster (majors) Brandon Workman (majors) Anthony Ranaudo (Triple-A, but likely to be called up by Friday) Matt Barnes (Triple-A) Steven Wright (Triple-A) Eduardo Escobar (Triple-A) Henry Owens (top pitching prospect, now in Double-A) Brian Johnson (Double-A) Eduardo Rodriguez (Double-A) That's a staggering volume of pitchers who project as potential big league starters. Of those, Owens (No. 40), Escobar (56), Rodriguez (65) and Webster (88) ranked in Baseball America's pre-2014 top 100 prospects in the game. Johnson has likely pitched himself into consideration for a place on that list prior to next year. In short, the Sox will have many options from which to add to their rotation entering next year, while also having the sort of inventory depth to make deals in the offseason. As for Miller: The left-hander transformed his career in Boston. The No. 6 overall pick in the 2006 draft agreed to sign with the Sox as a minor league free agent after the 2010 season. He showed flashes of promise in the rotation that year, but after moving to the bullpen in 2012, he enjoyed a breakthrough, with a simplified delivery and pitch-mix (mid-90s heater, wipeout slider) turning him into one of the most dominant bullpen arms in the game. Miller had a 2.34 ERA with 14.7 strikeouts and just 2.8 walks per nine innings in 42 1/3 innings this year, showing game-changing abilities at the back end of the bullpen. Miller discussed his career arc in this podcast on Sunday.

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