MLB

Report: Athletics receiving calls on closer Mason Miller

May 10, 2024, 8:05 AM

MESA, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Mason Miller #19 of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait during ...

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics have a lengthy recent track record of trading away young talent.

Josh Donaldson. Sonny Gray. Matt Olson. Matt Chapman. Sean Murphy.

At a time when things have looked bleak for the A’s both on and off the field, another young player has turned heads for the green and gold. Hard-throwing closer Mason Miller has taken Major League Baseball by storm with his 100-plus miles-per-hour fastballs, but an important question looms:

Will Oakland keep Miller, 25, in the bullpen and build around the right-hander, or–like they did with those named a moment ago–will he be the latest talent traded away for prospects?

According to The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal, teams from around the league have contacted the Athletics about Miller’s availability. The asking price for Miller is steep, with Rosenthal reporting that “no team has come close” to meeting Oakland’s demands and that no team may.

More on Oakland Athletics closer Mason Miller

While Rosenthal’s report indicates that the A’s steep asking price will deter teams from attempting to trade for Miller, it’s still expected that the closer will continue to be made available in trade discussions:

The A’s, though, will not rule out trading [Miller]. Teams entertain discussions on virtually all players. The performance of most relievers is volatile. And Miller missed almost four months last season with a mild UCL sprain in his right elbow.

On the other hand, the A’s say they are planning to ramp up their payroll and improve their roster as they prepare for their scheduled move to Las Vegas in 2028. Miller could play an important role in that process, giving the franchise credibility and identity during the three seasons it plans to spend in Sacramento.

[Miller’s] value, at the moment, is extremely high.

The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal – May 9, 2024

Miller, the 97th selection from the 2021 MLB Draft, has been electric over 13 relief appearances this season, pitching to a 1.10 ERA while striking out an incredible 33 batters over 16.1 innings pitched (18.2 strikeouts per nine innings pitched). The righty has been a lock-down closer, securing all eight of his save chances thus far.

The flamethrower’s 55 percent strikeout rate leads all MLB relievers, while his average fastball velocity of 100.8 miles per hour puts him ahead of Minnesota Twins closer Jhoan Duran (100.7).

Oakland (18-21) has been somewhat of an early-season surprise thus far. One year ago, the A’s held a record of 8-31 through 39 games.

The Athletics enter play on Friday four games behind the reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers. If Oakland continues to play near-500 baseball, will that improve the team’s chances of holding onto Miller?

Time will tell.

Upcoming schedule for the Oakland Athletics

  • Friday, May 10th-Sunday, May 12th – @ Seattle Mariners
  • Monday, May 13th-Thursday, May 16th – @ Houston Astros
  • Friday, May 17th-Sunday, May 19th – @ Kansas City Royals
  • Tuesday, May 21st-Thursday, May 23rd – vs. Colorado Rockies
  • Friday, May 24th-Sunday, May 26th – vs. Houston Astros

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Report: Athletics receiving calls on closer Mason Miller