New York reliever Andrew Miller is atop Chicago’s wish list as the club seeks bullpen help before the non-waiver trade deadline, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
Heyman adds the Yankees “have been unmotivated to move [Miller] thus far.”
Chicago enters play Saturday with a seven and a half game lead in the National League Central and has positioned itself for a playoff spot after a hot start. However, while the Cubs’ lineup and rotation have had success, their bullpen lacks depth.
The Cubs’ relievers have pitched to a 3.81 ERA, which ranks 12th in baseball and sixth in the National League. Still, it seems the organization wants to add at least one bullpen arm leading up to the deadline.
While the Yankees, who trail the Orioles by seven and a half games in the American League East, don’t appear open to the idea of moving Miller, he is likely an ideal target. Miller is signed through 2018 and has pitched to a 1.43 ERA and 1.90 FIP over 37.2 innings this season.
Miller has issued only five walks and has allowed five home runs while averaging 16.0 strikeouts per nine innings.
Although New York has yet to determine whether it will buy or sell, moving several major league pieces will be likely if the club struggles after the All-Star break. The Yankees could start by moving Miller, Aroldis Chapman or Dellin Betances, all valuable bullpen pieces that will almost certainly be attractive to teams hoping to add to the back-end of their bullpens.
If the Yankees opt not move Chapman or Miller, the Cubs could consider Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino, though Heyman reports Vizcaino “isn’t even on their list.” Atlanta is rebuilding, and Vizcaino could be moved in exchange for prospects.
Chicago isn’t considering trading Kyle Schwarber but might be open to moving Jeimer Candelario, according to Heyman.