BREAKING: Andrew Miller signs with St. Louis

Late Thursday night, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Cardinals were closing in on a deal with free agent, left-handed reliever Andrew Miller.

The Cardinals’ front office made it known that they were looking to upgrade the bullpen heading into the 2019 season. The relievers blew a lot of leads for the team last season, and heading into the offseason, there were a lot of big names available via trade or free agency.

Compared to other big name relievers, St. Louis got Miller on a dime. Rosenthal was first to report the details of the contract.

Andrew Miller was an absolute stud from 2014-2017 out of the bullpen for the Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, and most recently, the Indians. Over the span of 261 innings, he posted a 1.72 ERA along with a 1.83 FIP. He added 14.52 K/9, while posting just 2.31 BB/9. Outside of a David Ross HR in the 2016 World Series, he was utterly dominant during the Indians 2016 postseason run. Over 19.1 innings on baseball’s biggest stage, he posted a 1.40 ERA with 13.97 K/9.

The Cardinals signed Miller on a dime, right? One of the elite relievers in baseball for $11 million per year? This signing would be a sure thing if 2018 didn’t happen. Last season, Miller struggled like never before from the bullpen. In a season that saw him go on the Disabled List 3 separate times, he posted a 4.24 ERA in just 34 innings.

The most worrisome thing about Miller isn’t his poor season. His downtick in velocity is almost always a sure sign of a pitcher starting to decline. In previous seasons, Miller’s fastball sat in the 96-97 MPH range, while 2018 showed it was more in the 93-94 MPH range. While a few MPH may not seem like a big deal, it almost always equates to waning success in the big leagues.

This is a high risk, high reward signing from a team desperate for bullpen help. While many fans wanted Zach Britton instead of Miller, the front office continues to walk the walk after expressing the importance of the 2019 season.

Reed Zahradnik

University of Iowa '22. St. Louis Cardinals, 50 feet of crap, everyone else. Follow me on Twitter: @reed_zahradnik5

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