Blockbuster Trade Proposal Ships Orioles RHP Mason Miller in 3-Player Swap

Mason Miller

Getty Bleacher Report's Zachary D. Rymer made the same trade proposal as MLB insider Ken Rosenthal for the Baltimore Orioles to land Oakland Athletics closer Mason Miller.

The Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees have been battling for not just the best record in the AL East but the entire American League this month. One way the Orioles could put extra heat on their division rival is acquiring one of the fastest rising closers in baseball — right-hander Mason Miller.

On May 15, Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer labeled the Orioles the No. 2 landing spot for the Oakland Athletics reliever. To land Miller, Rymer proposed the Orioles send two of the organizations top prospects — third baseman Coby Mayo and outfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. — to Oakland.

Rymer’s trade proposal matched The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal’s idea from May 9.

“Try as I might in messing around with Baseball Trade Values‘ simulator, I was unable to land on a more appropriate haul of players,” wrote Rymer.

“It would be a solid deal for Oakland, albeit one that leans more toward quality’ than ‘quantity.’ And since there’s a question of whether his bat will play in the majors, Bradfield isn’t a sure thing even by prospect standards.”

After making 10 appearances in his first MLB season last year, Miller has assumed the closer role in Oakland during 2024. He has posted a 0.98 ERA with 38 strikeouts and only 5 walks. Miller has also accumulated 8 saves while pitching 18.1 innings over 12 appearances.

How Mason Miller Could Bolster Orioles Bullpen

Baltimore isn’t a possible landing spot for Miller just because the team is expected to compete for another division title and 100-win season. The Orioles are experiencing problems in the back end of their bullpen this month.

Orioles reliever Craig Kimbrel started the season well, but since April 26, he has allowed 6 runs in 5.1 innings over 8 appearances. During that stretch, he’s yielded 7 walks and 2 home runs.

Given those recent struggles, the Orioles have begun to move Kimbrel away from the ninth-inning role. The veteran right-hander has pitched during the seventh in two of his last three appearances.

But that hasn’t solved Baltimore’s late-inning pitching problems. Fellow reliever Yennier Cano gave up a 1-run lead in the eighth to the Toronto Blue Jays on May 13.

Trading for Miller would give Baltimore the shutdown closer its lacked the past few weeks. It would also allow Kimbrel and Cano to find their footing again in less pressure situations.

Although he didn’t name Miller as a potential target, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported on May 12 that the Orioles “privately realize” they will likely have to acquire a new closer for the pennant race to end this season.

Could Orioles Trade a Pair of Top Prospects for Miller?

Trading both Mayo and Bradfield is a high price to pay for Miller. Mayo and Bradfield are both top 100 rated MLB prospects and top 5 prospects in the Orioles organization.

But Miller will be expensive for any team to acquire because of his affordable contract. Rosenthal also called him Oakland’s best player.

“Miller, 25, is not only Oakland’s best young player, but also their best player, period,” wrote Rosenthal. “To acquire him, a team likely would need to give up a young player of comparable ability, or a substantial package of multiple youngsters who could be part of the A’s future.”

Miller won’t be eligible for arbitration until 2026. That means he will be very affordable for the next two years.

He also won’t be a free agent until following the 2029 season. So although two top prospects is a lot to trade for a closer, the Orioles could solidify their ninth inning for most, if not, the rest of the decade by acquiring Miller.

According to Fangraphs, Miller has averaged more than 101 MPH on his fastball this season. Mixing that heat with a change-up and slider, Miller has posted an 18.7 K/9 average.

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