Trade speculation surrounding Boston Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller is gaining steam.
The Red Sox are willing to move Miller, according to multiple reports. The Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates reportedly are among the teams keeping tabs on the left-hander with Major League Baseball?s non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching.
Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Red Sox are ?shopping? Miller, adding that the Pirates have been scouting the Sox for a couple of weeks.
David O?Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is hearing that Miller indeed is available. He reports that the Braves have a scout following the Red Sox — a fact confirmed by ESPN.com?s Gordon Edes — and that Atlanta is in on Miller. CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman also notes that the Braves are believed to be looking closely at Miller.
Edes, who reported that scouts from at least 17 major league teams attended Friday?s series opener between the Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, wrote Saturday that Miller is drawing considerable interest from other clubs. The 29-year-old is having his best season yet and is set to hit free agency, making him a prime trade target for teams in search of bullpen help.
Miller entered Sunday with a 2.52 ERA in 39 1/3 innings over 47 appearances. The southpaw ranked second among American League relievers with 14.64 strikeouts per nine innings, fifth in strikeouts (64) and 10th in opponent?s batting average (.177). He has been an extremely valuable late-inning arm for the Red Sox this season, and Boston might be able to land a good return if he is available, as the reports indicate.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Saturday after Boston traded pitcher Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants for two minor leaguers that the club wasn’t closing in on any additional deals. Cherington added that the Red Sox were “listening” to offers, though.