MLB Insider Predicts Philadelphia Phillies Land A's Closer Mason Miller

Jun 9, 2024; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Mason Miller (19) warms up during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 9, 2024; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Mason Miller (19) warms up during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies have the best record in the National League, and the second-best record in baseball at 46-22. They lead the Atlanta Braves by nine games in the middle of June, and after making it to the World Series and the National League Championship Series the past two seasons, Philly could be looking to make an upgrade.

MLB insider Jon Heyman of the New York Post thinks that the Phillies could end up with Oakland A's closer Mason Miller at the deadline.

The big question when it comes to Miller is whether or not he's actually available. A's GM David Forst said that the team has received calls on the flamethrower, but that the rumors that they were "taking calls" on him were blown out of proportion earlier this season. Teams are asking about Miller, who won't be a free agent until after the 2029 season and will still make the league minimum next season, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the A's are trying to move him.

That all said, with Miller's injury history and the fact that he has allowed a run (gasp!) in three of his last six outings, the team may be slightly more inclined to listen on Miller than they were a few weeks ago. Obviously he has loads of team control remaining, but the A's need more than just one relief pitcher in order to rebuild the roster, and moving Miller for a bevy of prospects could help them get a lot closer to contention in the coming years.

As we wrote previously, this also feels like the last year that Oakland could trade the closer before suffering any real blowback from their new fan bases in Sacramento and Las Vegas without the fans feeling like nothing has changed, despite numerous promises from ownership.

A trade with Philadelphia would make sense for a couple of reasons. First off, Miller is from the state, though he grew up rooting for the Pirates. This could be a bit of a homecoming for Miller. Secondly, Phillies POBO Dave Dombrowski has a habit of making this big deals and trading the farm to get players that he wants to help them win a championship. That would be music to Oakland's ears, and adding Miller to the Phillies bullpen would certainly help their chances of bringing home a World Series not only this season, but for years to come.

Miller, 25, holds a 2.40 ERA (1.88 FIP) across 30 innings this season, and has struck out 48.7% of the batters he's faced. If you're going to part with some top-end talent, he's the kind of player you do that for.

Any trade between these two clubs would likely have to begin with either Andrew Painter or Mick Abel, two of the team's top prospects, headed back to Oakland. Painter is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery, while Abel is struggling in Triple-A with a 6.31 ERA and a 15.3% walk rate in ten starts.

That may sound like a hefty asking price, but at the same time the A's are in no rush to trade Miller. There aren't too many pitchers out there than can spot 100+ on the black, and to acquire the ones that can it's going to take a pretty significant return.


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Jason Burke

JASON BURKE

Jason is the host of the Locked on A's podcast, and the managing editor of Inside the A's. He's a new father and can't wait to take his son to his first baseball game at the Coliseum.