At this rate, we may never know if the Yankees are planning to buy or sell before the trade deadline passes. Selling probably makes the most sense for the team's future, but they just won three straight games against the Orioles so Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine are definitely somewhere yelling about how the Yankees are still contenders. On the other hand, if the Yankees are indeed selling, then Andrew Miller is certainly one of their best trade chips.
Miller is having a fantastic year. Although he lost the closing role to Aroldis Chapman rather unfairly, he has out-pitched Chapman in just about every category. Miller has the second highest K/9 (15.24) of all relievers in the league, and has the ninth lowest ERA. He already has notched 70 strikeouts and since we're just over the halfway point in the season, he is on pace to pass his career high of 103. Also, he started the season with a chip fracture in his right hand, and pitched while wearing a brace under his glove! Miller's stats speak for themselves, and he would be an asset to any team...which is why just about every team is interested in him.
Because Miller is one of the best (if not the best) closers in the game, rumors have been circulating about him for months. Some of the teams in the league that are interested in acquiring Miller include the Giants, Rangers, Indians, Cubs, and Nationals. He could easily step into the role of closer on any of those teams and potentially give them a huge boost as the regular season winds down.
There have been a lot of rumors flying about teams being interested in trading for Chapman as well, but there seem to be more benefits to trading for Miller. Aside from the fact that he is having the better season, instead of being a short-term rental like Chapman, Miller is signed through 2018 and is set to make $18 million over those two years. The Yankees would also be able to land a better package for a deal involving Miller because of this.
It's still difficult to say whether the Yankees will part ways with Miller or will keep him. Earlier in the month, Miller himself said that Yankee executives had personally told him that a trade wasn't happening. Though he backtracked a bit after that and indicated that he didn't definitively know what would happen. If a trade does happen, losing Miller would obviously be a blow to the Yankees' bullpen, both in the short-term and in the long-term. Especially with Chapman likely leaving when the season ends. Dellin Betances would take over as the new closer, but none of the Yankees' middle relievers have stood out in a particularly good way.
Ultimately, the state of the bullpen over the next few years will not really matter too much if the Yankees decide to follow last year's offseason plan and aim towards getting under the luxury tax threshold. Personally, I'd rather see the Yankees trade Chapman and keep Miller, but Miller would net a better return. If they do plan on rebuilding, they might as well trade Miller and Chapman both. Then again, this is the Yankees, and they just won three out of four games against the Orioles, so they probably won't be selling.
What kind of deal would you want to see the Yankees get if they decide to trade Miller?