Mariners News: M’s Acquire LHP Wade Miley from Red Sox


Wade Miley is a solid addition to the Mariners rotation, but Seattle will regret the decision to trade away Carson Smith

The Winter Meetings kicked off this morning in Nashville, and predictably, Jerry Dipoto is already hard at work. Numerous sources are reporting that the Seattle Mariners have acquired Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Carson Smith and Roenis Elias.

Originally selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round of the 2008 draft, Miley reached the big leagues during the 2011 season. He did a nice job for the D-Backs, going 4-2 and posting a 4.50 ERA across 8 appearances down the stretch.

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The Southeastern Louisiana University alum exploded onto the scene during his first full season in 2012. Miley was dominant, going 16-11 with a 3.33 ERA through 32 appearances. He struck out 144 and walked 37 in 194.2 innings. Miley represented the Diamondbacks at the All-Star Game and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting.

Miley put together another solid season in 2013, going 10-10 and registering a 3.55 ERA across 33 starts. The left-hander struck out 147 and walked 66 through 202.2 innings pitched. He limited the opposition to 1.317 walks/hits per inning.

2014 was Miley’s last in the desert. He finished with a 8-12 record and posted a 4.34 ERA in 33 outings. Miley struck out a career high 183, while issuing 75 free passes across 201.1 innings. Despite his poor win/loss record, Miley actually pitched quite well for the D-Backs in 2014. His 3.98 FIP was tied for the second best mark of his career.

The Diamondbacks shipped the 29-year-old southpaw to the Red Sox last offseason for Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and Raymel Flores. Miley was a bit of a disappointment in his first season with the Sox. He went 11-11 with a 4.46 ERA across 32 starts. Miley struck out 147 and walked 64 in 193.1 innings pitched.

Baseball Reference is expecting Miley to bounce back slightly in 2016. They predict he will go 9-10 with a 4.27 ERA through 177 innings. The mathematicians over at FanGraphs are a bit more optimistic. They are projecting Miley will go 10-9 with a 4.07 ERA across 28 starts.

Jonathan Aro is a 25-year-old right-handed reliever. He made his big league debut this past season, and did not fare well in limited action. Aro went 0-1 while recording a 6.97 ERA through 6 appearances. He was reasonably effective in AAA Pawtucket, going 0-1 with a 3.14 ERA. Aro should get a chance to compete for a middle relief job next spring in Peoria.

Acquiring Wade Miley makes a lot of sense for the Mariners. They were obviously in need of starting pitching depth with the recent departure of Hisashi Iwakuma. Miley represents an immediate upgrade at the back end of the M’s rotation. Dipoto is also very familiar with Miley from his time working in the Diamondbacks front office.

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Miley is also a very attractive addition from a fiscal point of view. The lefty is set to earn just $6,167,000 in 2016. Miley is scheduled to make $8,917,000 in 2017 and has a $12 million dollar team option for 2018. Aro is under team control through the

However, the Mariners have vastly overpaid for a backend starting pitcher and a fledging reliever. Carson Smith was filthy last season, going 2-5 with a 2.31 ERA and 13 saves in 70 appearances. The 26-year-old right-hander struck out 92 and walked 22 in 70 innings. Smitty will be an All-Star closer before long in Boston, and trading him away makes no sense in my opinion. Elias was serviceable for the Mariners over the past two seasons, and he will be missed as well.

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Personally, I would have preferred to see the Mariners shell out the $45 million necessary to retain ‘Kuma rather than trade their best young reliever for Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro. I am excited to see what Miley can do next season at Safeco Field, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the M’s will regret parting with Smitty and his nasty slider.