Phillies, Giants Swap Yunior Marté For Erik Miller

The Phillies and Giants made a trade today, according to announcements from both clubs. Right-hander Yunior Marté is heading to the Phillies with a lefty Erik Miller going the other way.

Marté, 28 next month, he spent most of his career with the Royals but never cracked their roster and reached minor league free agency after 2020. The Giants then signed him to a minor league deal and saw him post a 3.49 ERA over 56 2/ 3 Triple-A innings in 2021. He struck out 24.6% of batters faced, walked 9.1% of them and got grounders on 49.4% of balls in play. That was enough for the Giants to add him to the 40-man in November.

In 2022, Marté made his MLB debut with a 5.44 ERA in 48 innings for the Giants. That came with a 20.6% strikeout rate and 10.4% walk rate, with both of those numbers being a bit worse than the league average. He did get grounders at a strong 48.6% rate and might have had some bad luck with a 63.2% strand rate. Statcast found a lot to like in his work, placing him in the 97th percentile in terms of barrel rate, 84th in terms of average exit velocity and 94th in terms of fastball velocity, averaging 97.8 mph. He also tossed 25 2/3 Triple-A innings with a 3.16 ERA and a huge 37.2% strikeout rate, although his 38.8% ground ball rate was lower down there.

Marté still has a couple of option years, so he’ll give the Phils an intriguing arm that they could potentially keep in the minors until needed. The bullpen has been an area of ​​focus for the team this winter, as they’ve signed free agents Craig Kimbrel spirit Matt Strahmin addition to swinging a trade for Gregory Soto this weekend and Marté today. For the Giants, it seems like Marté was nudged out of their plans when they signed Luke Jackson today, requiring them to open a roster spot with this trade. Although it was surely tough to part with a talented pitcher like Marté, they are at least getting something in return.

Miller, 25 next month, was a fourth round selection of the Phillies in 2019. He’s been considered one of the better prospects in the Philly system since then, with Baseball America having him in the club’s top 30 in each of the past three years. Between the canceled minor leagues in 2020 and an injury-scarred 2021, he hadn’t pitched much coming into 2022. But he seemed to get into a groove at Double-A, tossing 36 1/3 innings with a 2.23 ERA. He struck out 30.1% of batters faced but also walked 11.6% of them. He was promoted to Triple-A but his control problems worsened. In 10 games at that level, he walked 21.5% of opponents, leading to a 7.50 ERA.

Miller got some attention here at MLBTR as the Rule 5 draft was approaching but he ultimately went unselected. That means the Giants have now swapped one intriguing arm for another, with Miller not occupying a roster spot. Baseball America highlights that his fastball can reach 98 mph, with a plus slider and changeup as well. However, they note that a lack of consistency has kept him from truly reaching his potential thus far.

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