Published December 09, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired All-Star right-hander Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday for overall No. 1 draft pick Dansby Swanson, outfielder Ender Inciarte and pitching prospect Aaron Blair.
The Diamondbacks obtained minor league left-hander Gabe Speier in a trade that gave Arizona its second top-flight starter in two days. Free agent Zack Greinke finalized a $206.5 million, six-year contract Tuesday.
''I look at our ballclub as a very, very good club. We were a good club last year. We gained 15 games in the win column. To add Zack Greinke to that mix makes us better. If we're capable of doing something else, we're going to be better,'' Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart said before the trade became known.
Atlanta also agreed with free-agent catcher Tyler Flowers to a two-year, $5.3 million contract, a person familiar with the deal said, speaking on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.
The Diamondbacks are going all-in a year after finishing with the worst record in baseball. Under new manager Chip Hale they went 79-83 game this season, a 15-game improvement over 2014, with a strong core of young position players led by Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock. The offense scored the second-most runs in the National League last season but the starting staff threw the second fewest innings in the league and had a 4.37 ERA, 11th of 15 NL teams.
Chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and Stewart set out for dramatic change.
Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, had the lowest ERA in the majors in 20 years, then opted out of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 25-year-old Miller threw over 200 innings and had a 3.02 ERA for the Braves.
Miller should slot into the No. 2 spot in the rotation ahead of Patrick Corbin, Rubby De La Rosa and Robbie Ray.
The retooling Braves acquired Miller from St. Louis before last season for popular All-Star outfielder Jason Heyward. They've now turned him into quite a haul of young players.
Swanson, a shortstop, was the top pick in this year's amateur draft out of college power Vanderbilt. He hit .289 in 83 at-bats in low-A ball and is already MLB.com's fourth-rated prospect at his position. He is seen as a top-of-the-order player.
Inciarte is a slick-fielding center fielder who hit .303 and stole 21 bases in his second season. He's under team control for five more years.
Blair quickly advanced through the minor leagues in three years and could make his major league debut next season. A 2013 first-round pick, the right-hander was 7-2 with a 3.16 ERA for Triple-A Reno after a promotion from Double-A.
Atlanta got Speier from Detroit in the trade for Cameron Maybin last month. The 20-year-old Speier has a 2.34 ERA in 45 games - eight starts - over three minor league season. He made 33 appearances for Class-A West Michigan this season.