Report: Cubs Acquiring RP Tyson Miller for IF Prospect Jake Slaughter

I distinctly remember another time the Cubs acquired a reliever from the Mariners in exchange for a slugging infielder. As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Cubs are bringing former farmhand Tyson Miller back in exchange for Jake Slaughter. Drafted by the Cubs in the fifth round during their title season, Miller made his MLB debut in 2020 and was claimed off waivers by the Rangers after being DFA’d the following season.

He has since bounced around quite a bit between several organizations, going from Triple-A to the majors with the Rangers, Brewers, Dodgers, Mets, and Mariners. Miller has looked good at the big league level in nine appearances this year, striking out 12 with just one walk in 11.2 innings. Almost exclusively a fastball/slider guy, Miller makes up for 90 mph velocity by getting 95th-percentile extension from a low arm slot and keeping the ball up in the zone.

The fastball makes up a little over 60% of his pitches and the slider, which he also locates higher than most, makes up another 38% or so. He’s thrown three total pitches with other classifications, which may just be errors. An extreme fly-ball pitcher, Miller needs to be very sharp with his location lest the ball make it over the fence.

Slaughter is quite familiar with the home run ball, having hit 58 over part of six seasons in the minors for the Cubs. Selected in the 18th round back in 2018 out of LSU, Slaughter didn’t discover his power stroke until hitting 23 homers in 2022. Prior to that, he’d hit a total of eight in three seasons (the 2020 campaign was canceled due to COVID).

Though he can play any infield position other than shortstop, the Cubs are more than set and really didn’t have room for Slaughter in Chicago. This move is as much about giving him a fresh start with an organization that may be able to play him as it is anything else. In return, the Cubs get a fresh arm who should be at least as reliable as so many other relievers they’ve had to cycle through this season.

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