The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired All-Star pitcher Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves as part of a five-player trade that included four former Midwest Leaguers.
The Diamondbacks received Miller and minor-league pitcher Gabe Speier in exchange for outfielder Ender Inciarte, pitching prospect Aaron Blair, and shortstop Dansby Swanson, this year’s No. 1 overall draft pick. The trade was announced this morning, one day after Arizona finalized a six-year, $206 million deal with ace pitcher Zack Greinke.
There was speculation that Swanson might start the 2016 season with the Kane County Cougars, but now there is no chance he will play in the Midwest League because Atlanta doesn’t have an affiliate there. The other four players involved in the trade are ex-Midwest Leaguers.
Miller went 7-5 with a 3.62 ERA, 140 strikeouts and 33 walks in 104.1 IP (24 starts) for the 2010 Quad Cities River Bandits. He also made two starts for the River Bandits in 2009.
Speier, a left-handed pitcher, was a reliever for the West Michigan Whitecaps this year. He went 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA, 36 strikeouts and 12 walks in 44 innings. The Braves acquired him from the Detroit Tigers last month.
Inciarte played in 247 games for the 2010-12 South Bend Silver Hawks (66 in 2010, 116 in 2011, and 65 in 2012). He cumulatively batted .261 with 3 HR, 75 RBI and 49 SB in the Midwest League. He made his major-league debut for the Diamondbacks in early May 2014.
Blair made nine starts for the 2013-14 Silver Hawks, going 1-4 with a 3.88 ERA, 57 strikeouts and 18 walks in 53.1 innings. He split the 2015 season between Double-A and Triple-A.