After a disappointing 2015 season, the Indians emerged as the AL Central front-runners in 2016 ahead of the defending world champion Kansas City Royals.
To hold off Kansas City, and solidify themselves as the division favorites, the Indians made a bold trade with the New York Yankees sending former first-round draft pick Clint Frazier, top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield and two more minor league arms in Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen to the Bronx in exchange for all-star reliever Andrew Miller.
Miller had a signed a four-year deal with the Yankees prior to the 2015 season; thus, the Indians would have the southpaw in their bullpen not just for the 2016 postseason run but through the 2018 season.
The move quickly paid off for the Tribe as Miller posted a 1.55 ERA in 29 innings after the trade to help lead the Indians to their first AL Central title since 2007. In the postseason, Miller was dominant as he did not allow a run in Cleveland’s ALDS sweep of the Boston Red sox and was named ALCS MVP after tossing 7.2 scoreless innings with 14 strikeouts against the Toronto Blue Jays as the Indians won their first AL pennant since 1997.
While Cleveland would go onto lose the world series, Miller would help the team win two more division crowns as in 2017 he was again named an all-star as he posted a 1.58 ERA for an Indians team that won 102 games and also set an MLB record by posting a 22-game winning streak during the regular season.
In 2018 Miller had his struggles as his ERA finished at 4.24, but he was still part of a third straight AL Central Division champion squad. He’d go onto sign with the St. Louis Cardinals following the 2018 season.
As for the Yankees, they also benefited from this trade. The team would knock off Miller and the Indians in the 2017 ALCS, have gotten much production from Frazier who hit 12 home runs in 69 games for the Bombers in 2019 and sent Sheffield to Seattle to land a top of the rotation arm in James Paxton.
This trade was truly a win for both teams, but for the Indians, it helped create an unforgettable 2016 postseason run.