Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and David Price are former number one overall picks. Tuesday night the Diamondbacks traded the top selection from last Junes draft, shortstop Dansby Swanson, as part of a blockbuster deal for Atlanta pitcher Shelby Miller.
The Miller extravaganza cost Arizona two former first round draft picks in Swanson and Aaron Blair (2013 #1) and underrated outfielder Ender Enciarte. They didn’t have to give up all-star outfielder A.J. Pollock in the deal and they get a terrific third arm in the starting rotation to follow Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin. Yes, the price is beyond steep, but Miller is young(25), eats up 200-innings, and has an earned run average right around 3. He was an all-star on a bad team in Atlanta last season. They control his contract for the next three seasons.
The Diamondbacks were talking with Miami about Jose Fernandez at the same time they were working the Braves for Miller. They went with the deal from Atlanta and the early reviews out of the Winter Meetings in Nashville weren’t good for Arizona.
I trust Tony LaRussa in building a ball club more than guys who aren’t in the Hall of Fame.
Just for your edification, the last time a number-one overall MLB draft pick was traded before playing in a big league game was Adrian Gonzalez in 2003. Now the critics have their ammo to throw out at the Diamondbacks for this deal. No question Arizona is going to get crushed for the Miller trade.
For me, it feels like 1999 all over again. One day Randy Johnson signs and a few days later Steve Finley came on board. We know how that all played out, with the Diamondbacks winning a World Series two years later. The Greinke/Miller moves may well be the defining moments for this franchises future. If both pitchers do what they are capable of, then titles may follow. If not…well, I don’t even want to think about where they could end up…