MLB insider suggests outrageous Mason Miller trade

Pittsburgh Pirates v Oakland Athletics
Pittsburgh Pirates v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

It's May 10th and the Oakland Athletics are 3 games under .500, so you know what that means. It's time to start thinking about which players the A's are going to trade away before the deadline this year.

It's an unfortunate reality that this is the point we've gotten to, but the last few years have been absolutely brutal as the Athletics have methodically dismantled their roster and sold it for parts.

We're still a ways out from the trade deadline, which doesn't come until the end of July. However, that didn't stop the Marlins and Padres from making a deal that sent infielder Luis Arraez to San Diego, nor did it stop the Rangers from acquiring former A's outfielder Robbie Grossman from the White Sox.

While the A's don't seem to be active on the trade market, MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal suggested a deal ($) over at The Athletic that would have A's reliever Mason Miller going to the Orioles in exchange for prospects Coby Mayo and Enrique Bradfield Jr.

Per MLB Pipeline, Mayo and Bradfield are the Orioles' 3rd and 5th ranked prospects, respectively. Mayo is ranked 27th on their top-100 list. Bradfield is not in the top-100.

Mayo has been a strong hitter in the minors. He hit 29 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A last year and is already up to 11 in 2024. However, he's striking out almost 29% of the time right now and due to his large 6'5" frame, likely isn't built for third base long term.

Mayo is much more likely to end up at first and while he might be a solid prospect, he's not the kind of player you'd expect to get back if you'd entertain moving the best relief pitcher in baseball at the moment.

Bradfield is a nice player but would be a tertiary piece in the deal. A first round pick in 2023, Bradfield's primary skill is speed. He's a true threat on the basepaths, similar to Esteury Ruiz, but has 0 home runs and just 5 extra base hits in 178 minor league plate appearances.

Bradfield has hit .200/.318/.280 in 89 plate appearances at High-A and might not hit his weight if he makes it to the majors.

Does this trade even make sense for both sides?

The Orioles are currently without their star closer Felix Bautista due to Tommy John surgery. Bautista is expected to be back in time for the 2025 season but will miss the entirety of 2024.

They had signed veteran Craig Kimbrel to shore up their bullpen but he hasn't held up his end of the bargain, pitching to a 4.73 ERA in 13.1 innings with 3 blown saves.

While the Orioles have a need for bullpen help, this specific move doesn't make a ton of sense. The Athletics have no incentive to move Miller, unless they get blown away by an offer, and this wouldn't qualify as overly impressive.

Likewise, the Orioles don't really have a reason to overpay for a top reliever when they have Bautista due back next year, and there are cheaper options that probably make more sense for them.

Maybe the A's will consider moving Miller this year. There are obvious reasons to consider it, primarily that he dealt with a UCL issue last summer and if you can add good prospects to your pipeline in exchange for a relief pitcher, it's typically advisable to do so.

But there are too many reasons why this deal doesn't make sense. It would be foolish for the A's to move forward with a deal like this at this point in the season.