SoxProspects News

December 11, 2014 at 1:14 AM

Report: Red Sox to part with Webster, De La Rosa in deal for Wade Miley


As first reported by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi and since confirmed by multiple outlets the Red Sox have made their first move to help bolster their rotation, making an agreement in principle with the Arizona Diamondbacks that will bring 28-year-old left-hander Wade Miley to Boston in exchange for right-handers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, as well as another minor leaguer. At press time, the deal is not complete, with the identity of the minor leaguer still to be decided.

Update, 12/12: The Red Sox officially announced the trade this evening, with Raymel Flores announced as the third player headed to Arizona. For more on the trade, see our Trade Analysis by Ian Cundall and Chaz Fiorino.

The move again pairs De La Rosa and Webster, who were both acquired by the Red Sox from the Dodgers as part of the return for Adrian GonzalezCarl CrawfordJosh Beckett, and Nick Punto in 2012, while likely slotting Miley into the rotation spot that De La Rosa and Webster would have been among those competing for otherwise.


Miley has logged at least 194 innings in each of his three full seasons, and is likely to join Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly in the back half of the rotation. Miley, a Diamondbacks first-round pick in 2008, made his debut in 2011. He broke out the following year, earning an All-Star selection and finishing second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting to Bryce Harper following a 16-11, 3.33 ERA campaign in which he struck out 144 and walked 37 in 194 2/3 innings. He stayed consistent for his sophomore campaign, putting up a 3.55 ERA in 202 2/3 innings pitched. Miley saw his walks increase to 66 and his home runs allowed jump from 14 to 21, but most of his other numbers—147 strikeouts, for example—remained constant. Miley saw a dip in production in 2014, as his walk rate increased for a third consecutive year and he posted an ERA of 4.34. On the flip side, he struck out 8.18 batters per nine innings, a career high. 

Some fans have voiced concern considering Miley is moving from the National League West to the American League East. However, Miley is coming from a hitters haven in Chase Field, which was the second-best hitters ballpark in baseball for 2014 according to ESPN.com's runs park factor. Batters had an OPS of .759 over 301 2/3 innings pitched against Miley at Chase Field, compared to .704 in 337 innings on the road. Miley also generally keeps fly balls to a minimum, boding well for his chances pitching at Fenway Park, which has yielded the most doubles in baseball since 2002 by a longshot. Miley has a career fly ball rate of about 29 percent, good for 16th in the game among qualified pitchers, with the league average sitting around 35 percent. His 51.1 percent ground ball rate was good for 17th in the game.

De La Rosa saw time in Triple-A and the Major Leagues in both 2013 and 2014. He threw 80 1/3 innings with a 4.26 ERA for the PawSox in 2013 while on restrictive pitch counts in his return from 2011 Tommy John surgery. De La Rosa was called up on August 3 and was used exclusively as a reliever for Boston, making 11 appearances out of the bullpen, posting a 5.56 ERA. He spent a bulk of his 2014 in the big leagues after being called up on May 31. He shined in June with a 3.20 ERA and a .229 batting average against. A rough patch followed in the second half, as his ERA rose to 4.64 by the end of the season. Although De La Rosa had technically exhausted his prospect eligibility before the trade, SoxProspects.com made the editorial decision to rank him anyway. He topped out at number four on the site list, and was last ranked sixth in August 2013 before graduating.

Webster made his Red Sox debut in 2013, when he was called up in April to make a start during a doubleheader. He was sent down following the game, only to be called up two more times throughout 2013. In Triple-A, Webster threw well for Pawtucket as he made 21 starts and posted a 3.60 ERA with 116 strikeouts in 105 innings pitched. With the big club, he made eight appearances while making seven starts and struggled to the tune of an 9.60 ERA, while walking a worrisome 5.34 batters per nine innings. The Triple-A version of Webster was dominant again in 2014. He racked up 122 innings and posted a 3.10 ERA with 100 punch-outs. He threw 59 innings for Boston this season, posting a 5.03 ERA. Walks were a concern yet again for Webster, with 4.27 walks per nine innings. The lack of control left many, and perhaps the Red Sox, with uncertainty, despite his electric stuff, of his ability to remain in a major league rotation. Webster was last ranked by SoxProspects in June as the system's fifth-best prospect before graduating this past August, and he topped out at number three.

Photo Credits: Wade Miley courtesy MLB.com; Rubby De La Rosa by Kelly O'Connor.


 
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