Chicago Cubs Rumors: Why a Mason Miller trade will never happen

Mason Miller may be the most sought-after pitcher in baseball right now, but the Cubs will likely not pull the trigger on a trade for him
Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

With the Chicago Cubs experiencing persistent bullpen issues, fans are calling for the team to swing a trade for Oakland Athletics' closer Mason Miller. While Miller has been quite impressive in the early going of 2024, there are a lot of reasons why the Cubs probably won't land the young phenom.

For starters, Miller is still a pretty unproven MLB pitcher. The 25-year-old currently has 49.2 big league innings to his name and this season is the first time he is a dedicated reliever let alone a closer. It's hard to argue against a consistent triple-digit fastball, but there are many other players who boast this kind of velocity and still see struggles. Not to mention that relief pitchers, in general, are notoriously volatile. That simple fact is why the Cubs are even in the Mason Miller conversation, as Adbert Alzolay was arguably their best bullpen arm last year but has severely struggled so far in 2024.

While Miller's talents would be a significant boost to Chicago's bullpen, other teams will be in on this guy if he becomes available and drives up the price. A price that Cubs' General Manager Jed Hoyer should be reluctant to pay.

The price is too high for the amount of risk

Closers are already expensive to acquire mid-season. In 2016, the Cubs sent a considerable haul of players to the New York Yankees to rent Aroldis Chapman for three months. The deal included Gleyber Torres and Billy McKinney, the Cubs' no. 1 and 6 prospects at the time, along with big league pitcher Adam Warren and outfielder Rashad Crawford. More recently, the San Diego Padres gave up their closer Taylor Rogers, their no. 9 prospect Robert Gasser, and future big league outfielder Esteury Ruiz to land Josh Hader at the 2022 trade deadline.

But Miller is a different animal. His youth, talent, and performance as a closer so far are already enough to ask for at least four valuable prospects/players in return. The kicker is the fact that the Athletics still have Miller under team control through the 2029 season, making his potential asking price astronomical. People can boast all they want about how the Cubs have the type of farm system to swing this trade, but would they really be happy if Hoyer shipped off several future big leaguers for a guy with less than a season's worth of MLB experience?

And if Miller struggles after his change of scenery, the team could be out players the caliber of Owen Caissie (no. 3), Kevin Alcantara (no. 5), or James Triantos (no. 6). I don't think Hoyer is the type of gunslinger to put this many chips in for Miller and I don't want to be either. I just don't think the juice is worth the squeeze in this case.