Dustin Traded!

In shocking news, the Red Sox have traded Dustin! Dustin Richardson that is. Ok, so it’s not Dustin Pedroia, but it’s a trade nonetheless.

In trading the 6′ 6″ Richardson, the Red Sox were looking to improve their front court height, rebounding and shot blocking, hence the return package of 6′ 7″ Andrew Miller from the Florida Marlins.

Miller was the 6th overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Detroit Tigers (Richardson was drafted in the 5th round of the same draft). He is a lefty and throws very hard. But, he is wild. Think Randy Johnson wild in his youth, or Nolan Ryan wild in 1977 (and many other seasons). Miller doesn’t have the strikeout capacity of either Johnson or Ryan, but he can strike people out.

This is a gamble move. Richardson probably wasn’t going to be an all-star, but he had a far better bb/k ratio than did Miller in the minors and while Richardson’s major league career of 16 innings produced 15 walks, I’m not sure I’d have given up on him as quickly as the Red Sox did. This strikes me as a “we have better coaches than all of the other teams who can turn a player around” trade than anything else. I’m hoping the Red Sox have better coaches than all of the other teams. Otherwise they might just be fooling themselves. Arrogance? We shall see.

In reading up on this trade my guess is that Miller will be a reclamation project and start the season in the bowels of the Red Sox minor leagues. Low single A (get ready Lowell) is a possibility as they will break him down and build him up. The ideal outcome would be a Roy Halliday. Halladay was sent down to class A ball to figure things out early in his career. We can only hope for a similar outcome. Don’t bank on it.

My hunch suggests that Miller, at best, will be a lefty specialist but so far his OPS against lefties is only marginally better than against righties.

I classify this as a moderate move only because of the player the Red Sox acquired in Miller, but given that he’s on his 3rd team, I’m not going to hold my breath that Andrew Miller turns out to have a better Major League career than does Dustin Richardson.