Free agent left-hander Andrew Miller figures to be among the most coveted relievers available on the free agent market this offseason due to his top-level production and ability to get hitters out from both sides of the plate. Among the clubs that could be in play for Miller are the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs, who could be looking to sign the set-up man as a closer, per 670thescore.com's Bruce Levine.
The thought of Miller moving to a ninth inning role makes sense in the wake of Tuesday's report from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick that he was drawing strong interest from several clubs in need of a closer. Miller's agent, Mark Rodgers, also called him a "closer-in-waiting", indicating that Miller himself may be looking to move up the bullpen ladder.
The 29-year-old Miller has just a single career save, but has been a dominant relief option over the past few years, with production that very few closers can match. This year, Miller was nearly unhittable, posting a 2.02 ERA, 193 ERA+, 1.51 FIP, 2.3 WAR, 2.5 BB/9, and 14.9 K/9, the latter of which led the majors and is the eighth best mark among pitchers with at least 60 innings in a season ever.
Miller would be a nifty addition to the Cubs' bullpen, especially if they plan on competing in 2015. They currently have Hector Rondon installed as their closer, and he was quite effective last season (2.42 ERA, 2.26 FIP), but adding Miller would give them the option of moving Rondon into a set-up capacity.
The White Sox are a somewhat more intriguing destination simply because they are much further away on the win curve, and don't figure to compete this season. If the White Sox do sign him, it would be hard not to see him landing as their closer, as Chicago has no clear closing option at the moment.
A number of other relief-needy clubs should be in on Miller, and Crasnick speculates that the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers could join the sweepstakes. Regardless of whether he is signed as a closer, Miller should still be in line for closer-caliber money, as he is not attached to draft pick compensation and is easily one of the top set-up men in the game.