"It was very difficult to trade Jason, but deal was made to help us short-term and long-term," Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said. "This deal also improves us in an area where we are woefully, woefully thin -- our minor-league system."
Heyward had been mentioned in trade rumors leading up to Monday's deal. He is in the final year of his contract after signing a two-year extension in Feb. 2014. The 25-year-old outfielder is coming off a disappointing 2014 season. He hit .271 with a .384 slugging percentage, .735 OPS, 11 home runs, 26 doubles and 58 RBI in 149 games.
The 24-year-old Miller is also coming off a disappointing campaign. The once highly touted pitching prospect went 10-9 with a 3.74 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 32 appearances (31 starts). While he reached a career high in innings (183), Miller struggled with his command (3.6 BB/9) and saw his strikeout rate drop significantly (6.2 K/9).
"As we look at Shelby, we see that he has a chance to become a front-of-line rotation type of guy," Hart said.
Walden, the former Angels' All-Star closer in 2011, is under team control through 2016. He was 0-2 with a 2.88 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and three saves in 58 appearances for Atlanta last season.
Jenkins is a former top-100 prospect whose career has been slowed by a shoulder injury he sustained in 2013. He returned to action in 2014, going 6-5 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 13 starts at high Class A.
Jenkins, who is considered the Cardinals' seventh-best prospect by MLB.com, has been dealing with a shoulder injury for most of the season. The 2010 first-round pick was 4-4 with a 4.70 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 13 starts between low Class A Peoria and high Class A Palm Beach.
Jenkins is 4-4 with a 4.70 ERA and .275 opponents' batting average in 13 starts between Peoria and Palm Beach. He has 40 strikeouts and 25 walks in 59 1/3 innings.
Jenkins was a top-100 prospect according to Baseball America heading into 2012, but he struggled at Low-A last year (5.14 ERA in 19 starts), and those struggles have carried through to 2013 (4.74 ERA in 10 starts).
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