For the last few weeks, the Braves have been fielding calls from teams who wanted to trade for Shelby Miller. And for good reason: Miller is just 25 years old, is coming off a strong season in which he reminded everyone he was one of the game’s best pitching prospects coming up through the Cardinals organization, and he won’t be a free agent until after the 2018 season. With the price of pitching exploding in free agency, three cost-controlled years of a quality young starter is a valuable asset, and with the Braves in full rebuild mode, trading Miller to acquire players who could be core pieces of their long-term future made a lot of sense.
But when they discussed trading Miller as part of their rebuilding process, they could not have imagined the outcome that resulted tonight. After reportedly talking to the Cubs and Dodgers without securing the kind of impact young talent they were looking for in exchange, they ended up striking a remarkable deal with the Diamondbacks. The trade brings in major league outfielder Ender Inciarte along with minor league prospects Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair.
Except, these aren’t just any minor league prospects. Dansby Swanson was the #1 overall pick in the draft just five months ago, a shortstop who shows quality offensive skills for a middle infielder. MLB.com currently rates him as the #10 prospect in baseball, and that’s after just collecting 100 plate appearances in his professional debut this summer. With a reasonable performance as he climbs the minor league ladder this summer, he’ll likely be in the mix to be considered the best prospect in baseball at this time next year.
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.