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Braves trade Jason Heyward, Jordan Walden to Cardinals for Shelby Miller, Tyrell Jenkins

The Braves and Cardinals filled their respective needs in a rather out-of-the-blue trade.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves have traded outfielder Jason Heyward and right-handed relief pitcher Jordan Walden to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-handed starting pitcher Shelby Miller and minor league right-handed pitcher Tyrell Jenkins.

Atlanta had reportedly tried to sign Heyward to a long-term contract in previous seasons but never did work out an extension with the outfielder. He will make $7.8 million in 2015, after which he will become a free agent. Heyward will fill the Cardinals' hole in the outfield following the tragic passing of Oscar Taveras, joining Jon Jay and Matt Holliday.

After an excellent rookie campaign in 2013, Miller struggled in a disappointing 2014 season that saw his whiff rate drop from 8.8 to just 6.2 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. The rotation was a strength during the Braves' playoff seasons in 2010, 2012, and 2013, but a slew of injuries left their starting five in disarray throughout the 2014 season, resulting in a 79-83 campaign that cost general manager Frank Wren his job. Still with four more years under team control, including one at league minimum, the affordable Miller will likely join Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Alex Wood, and Kris Medlen in the Braves' rotation.