December 7, 2015 at 4:54 PM
The Red Sox made their first trade of the 2015 Winter Meetings on Monday, sending left-hander Wade Miley and right-hander Jonathan Aro (pictured) to Seattle in exchange for right-handed reliever Carson Smith and left-handed starter Roenis Elias. Smith is expected to slot into a setup role in front of Craig Kimbrel, along with Koji Uehara, while Elias may either compete for the fifth spot in the rotation or be used against left-handers out of the bullpen.
Here at SoxProspects, we reviewed Aro's 2015 season and provided a scouting report in last Friday's Top 40 Season in Review entry, with SoxProspects Director of Scouting Ian Cundall summing him up with the following:
Because of his size and delivery, Aro profiles best out of the bullpen. He lacks a true plus offering which limits his upside, but with the potential for two solid-average pitches and a third average one, Aro could still project as a middle reliever at the big league level. After getting his first taste of big league action in 2015, Aro will likely start 2016 in Pawtucket with an eye towards being one of the first call-ups should the big league team need bullpen help.
As for Miley, many fans are by now quite familiar with him after a season in the Boston rotation. But our own Assistant Director of Scouting, Chaz Fiorino, had the book on Miley right after he was acquired from Arizona for Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, and Raymel Flores in his contribution to our Trade Analysis.
Overall, Miley profiles best as a mid-to-backend starter. He brings a proven track record with durability, giving the Red Sox more reliability and consistency than could be counted on from De La Rosa and Webster, who both always flashed potential, but have never been able to sustain any type of consistency. Miley is leaving behind one of the worst pitching environments in baseball in Arizona, along with a poor defense. The ballpark transition, along with the Red Sox's projected plus defensive alignment, should stand to boost Miley's value, although the move over to the American League will mitigate some of that.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Aro by Kelly O'Connor