The big name in the Boston Red Sox bullpen that teams are hoping will come available is closer Kuji Uehara. His profile is certainly higher after the team’s run a World Series championship last season.
But according to Peter Gammons, Uehara isn’t the Boston reliever receiving the most attention in trade talks. That pitcher would be former first round pick Andrew Miller. Here is what Gammons had to say, from WEEI:
I talked to a general manager in the market for a closer yesterday who said when he talked to Ben [Cherington] that he seemed disinclined to even discuss it. That they think they’re going to bring [Uehara] back next year and build around him and let him go pitch the ninth inning again. … I was told that, by far, the player the they’ve had the most calls on is Andrew Miller.
The left-handed Miller has been stellar this season, posting a 2.13 ERA in 45 appearances. He is missing bats at an impressive clip of 14.4 K/9 and might be shaping up as a potential closer if he lands in the right situation.
When Miller first arrived in the big leagues, some people were quick to call him a bust. The Tigers and Marlins both initially tried to use Miller as a starter. Even the Red Sox had him start 12 games in 2011, but with little success. Once he got switched to the bullpen he found his niche, and now he is a highly sought-after trade target.
The Red Sox will not necessarily have incentive to trade Miller, even if they call themselves sellers, so it might take a big offer to land him. But if some team makes the right offer, they will gain a valuable arm for their bullpen.