Well, now we know who is going to crush the Cubs this week. I kid. Probably.
Today, the Brewers traded for infielder Brad Miller (and cash), sending Ji-Man Choi to the Rays in exchange. Choi wasn’t seeing much time with the Brewers and can’t play the same positions as Miller, so this is an overall roster upgrade for the Brewers.
… unless Miller now stinks. Miller, 28, was a solid player for the Mariners and Rays from 2013-16, usually posting a slightly above-average batting line, and playing passable defense at a variety of positions, including shortstop. Nice player to have.
But then he really fell off last year as his strikeout rate ballooned, and it’s been up near 30% this year (with his walk rate falling below 10%). Miller’s overall line this year is .256/.322/.429 (108 wRC+), but that’s buoyed by a BABIP nearly 70 points above his career average coming into this season. Given the peripherals, it’s unlikely he’ll continue to be an above-average bat unless something fundamental changes.
That said, the Brewers have been getting a whole lot of nothing offensively in the middle infield, so even an average bat there would be a noticeable upgrade. The glove isn’t great, though, for Miller, so the overall value add may not be significant.
So he’ll totally hit three homers this week against the Cubs, won’t he?
UPDATE: The Brewers have optioned Miller to AAA. Neat.