The lukewarm stove is a total drag right now. Can't cook an egg on it. Can't toast a marshmallow on it. It's not even heating up the room, fer cryin' out loud. It's just there, boring and unwilling to burn even a single hand. This means we're forced to pounce on whatever rumors we can scrape off one of the old burners.
The latest Giants rumor of note is that they're interested in Shelby Miller, current Braves ace. It's pretty obvious why the Giants would be interested in Miller. Not only is he talented (All-Star with a 124 ERA+ and 3.02 ERA last year), and not only could they rock a rotation with a Madison and a Shelby, but Miller is under control for the next three years. He stumbled a bit in the second half, when he was the anti-Kirk Rueter (1-12!), but talented and cheap sure fits with what the Giants would want from a pitcher.
Correction: talented and cheap fits what every team would want from a pitcher. Which means the Giants are one of 29 teams that would be interested in Miller. Which means that they would be bidding against teams with vastly superior farm systems. Which means the Giants probably aren't getting Miller. You can repeat this scenario with every young and talented starting pitcher in the league. Including him. Also, that other guy. Yes, That one too. The Giants aren't getting any of them, probably.
But the Miller rumor does let us explore the idea of the Giants making a deal with the Braves, and it's a pairing that makes a lot of sense. Forget about the Tyler Beedes and Phil Bickfords of the Giants' system; every team has a couple of those prospects. Some teams have a half-dozen or more. Christian Arroyo's age and production makes him unique, especially if he can stick at short, but he's not the kind of prospect that could headline a major, major deal.
No, the one tradeable player the Giants have that most teams don't is a catcher who can start right away. Andrew Susac is potentially a very good catcher. And that's one of the things the Braves are most interested in.
Regardless of what is said publicly by the #Braves about Bethancourt, I get impression they now believe, in hindsight, he was just overrated— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) November 18, 2015
There are minor concerns about A.J. Pierzynski biting Susac on the neck and turning him into a chinless weenie, but that's for the Braves to figure out. So while it's not likely that the Giants can blow the Braves away with a package for Miller, they might lead the race if the Braves have internally decided they want a catcher who can start over Christian Bethancourt right away.
If not Miller, Julio Teheran also makes sense for the Giants. They would be buying low, considering Teheran had a career-worst season last year, and he's also inexpensive, making just $29 million over the next four years. If he can reclaim his All-Star form in a big ballpark, under Dave Righetti's watchful eye, he would be a steal. Or he could be broken and a waste of money.
A Teheran trade makes more sense than anything involving Miller, considering the Braves are looking to ditch their financial obligations. They might want to deal the pitcher who was a disappointment last year, just to make sure they don't get stuck with him. And, there again, is that unique trade chip of the Giants. They can afford to give Susac up, and most teams in baseball can't compete with that.
Is Susac enough to get Miller? No, which means the Giants would have to gut the farm system, and I'm not that enamored of him. At least, I wouldn't expect him to be an All-Star again, and that's the value the Braves would probably assess him. Teheran as a bounceback candidate tickles my risk-reward spidey sense a lot more. Susac could probably headline that deal, if not be the entire return.
Either way, the Giants and Braves were linked in a rumor this week. It's probably not going to be the last time. They match up far too well. The Braves might want to move a couple of young pitchers because they're getting more expensive, and they're likely looking for a young catcher. Well, say, do I have a team that might be interested in that ...