The Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves are among other teams interested in the lefty reliever, but it doesn’t appear that anyone will offer a massive contract that would blow away any hypothetical bid from KC. The Royals already have three other arms in the bullpen with lower ERAs than Miller’s, which is a more-than-respectable 2.45, but they’re all right-handed.
Miller’s success is no fluke, either, seeing as his current ERA for 2014 just barely edges out his 2013 ERA of 2.64. Despite similar success in both seasons, his K/BB ratio jumped from 2.82 last year – a then career-high – to an even 5.00 this season. Greg Holland is the only Royal with a ratio better than that. Miller’s current contract grants him just under $2 million for this year, so even covering his entire salary wouldn’t break KC’s bank.
Acquiring Miller from Boston may help the Royals, but it could be bad news for the previously awesome lefty reliever Tim Collins. Depending on how Collins reacts to this hypothetical trade, it could instead light a fire under him. He is currently looking good in triple-A Omaha with a 2.16 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 29.1 IP.
If Collins gets back to his former level of effectiveness and the Royals sign Miller, KC would ensure that they yet again have the AL’s best bullpen by the end of 2014.