The Cardinals are near a multiyear contract agreement with one the game’s best relievers in Andrew Miller, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Andrew Miller had a number of two-year offers in hand, according to teams pursuing him. He was seeking a third year, though the Cardinals could also have bumped up the AAV on the deal as a separator. Terms aren’t clear, but Miller to Cardinals is as good as done.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 21, 2018
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported that St. Louis was “closing in on” Miller, who is arguably the top name when it comes to relievers in this year’s free agency class.
#STLCards closing in on free-agent reliever Andrew Miller, sources tell The Athletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 21, 2018
Passan added to his original tweet that Miller had multiple two-year deals being offered to him by teams who were going after him, but he was looking for a third year. Passan says the terms of the contract “aren’t clear, but Miller to Cardinals is as good as done.”
If the deal gets done, the 33-year-old Miller will certainly enhance the Cardinals’ bullpen despite coming off a down 2018 season with the Indians, who he spent the last three seasons playing for.
After being acquired in a trade with the Yankees, the left-hander and 13-year veteran helped the Tribe win three straight NL Central Division championships and reach the World Series in 2016, when he had his best season on the mound. That year, he posted a 1.45 ERA, a 0.69 WHIP and 123 strikeouts in 70 appearances in the regular season, then went on to earn ALCS MVP honors after he pitched 7 2⁄3 innings, allowed only three hits, struck out 14 batters (tying Brad Lidge’s LCS relief record from 2004) and did not walk anyone while leading the Indians past the Blue Jays in five games and getting the franchise to its first World Series since 1997.
Miller had a hard time in 2018 due to hamstring and shoulder issues while also spending a ton of time on the 60-day disabled list with a right knee injury. All of this resulted in him having a 4.24 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 37 appearances.
If completed, this move by the Cardinals will mark the second big transaction for them this offseason after also acquiring one of the game’s best first basemen in Paul Goldschmidt from the Diamondbacks. The Cardinals are trying to do everything they can to get back to the postseason after missing out on playoff baseball for the last three seasons.