Heyward will be just 25 years old in 2015, he hits (.262/.351/.429 career), and he grades out as one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. The former 1st round pick has a career 24.5 WAR through five seasons and still has lots of room to improve. Heyward was all set to be the next Mr. Brave after Chipper Jones passed him the torch a couple of seasons ago.
Shelby Miller is a good young arm with strikeout potential, no doubt about it. But in the new era of pitching dominance, it seems like every team is loaded with power right-handers. Scarce are the power hitting outfielders like Jason Heyward. To flip an arm for a power bat seems like a no-brainer for St. Louis Cardinals GM John Mozeliak.
Ah, but dig a little deeper and the trade seems to even out…
Heyward seems determined to hit the free agent market, and he will do so after 2015. So this could very well be a one-and-done season for him in St. Louis. Depending on what you believe, Heyward either did not want to discuss a contract extension with Atlanta, or the Braves were content to let him go.
Atlanta and GM John Hart also got more than just Miller, they acquired minor league right-hander Tyrell Jenkins. Jenkins just finished an impressive stint in the Arizona Fall League after fighting through a couple of injury riddled seasons that included shoulder surgery.
So now what do I think? A free-agent-to-be power hitting outfielder (and leaping Jordan Walden) for two controllable young pitchers, one of which has already proven he can pitch in the major leagues? This should benefit the Cardinals in 2015, but the Braves can win the trade if Miller stays on his career path and Jenkins can provide major league innings down the road.