The Reds have signed left-handed starter Wade Miley to a two-year contract that will guarantee him $15 million, as MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand was the first to report on Monday night. Miley will earn an average annual value of $7 million over the two guaranteed seasons of the deal, and he also has a $10 million club option for 2022 that can be bought out for $1 million:
Source: Wade Miley and the Reds have agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with a club option for 2022. Deal can be worth $24 million if option is exercised.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 17, 2019
Source: Miley will earn $14M in 2020-21; Reds’ club option for 2022 is $10M, with a $1M buyout that guarantees the lefty $15M in the deal.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 17, 2019
It’s a bit surprising to see the the 33-year-old Miley receive a multi-year deal after a rough end to the 2019 campaign in which he posted a 16.68 ERA over five September starts for the Astros, allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk over 2.2 NLDS innings, and was removed from the playoff roster for the ALCS and World Series. Miley’s regular-season numbers — a 3.98 ERA (140 ERA+) and 1.35 WHIP over 33 starts — were actually very good, though, and they followed an abbreviated but dominant 2018 season he put together with the Brewers.
The Brewers will hope he can be as effective in the NL Central this time around as he was during his time with Milwaukee, for whom he posted a 2.57 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP over 16 starts. Miley’s never been much of a strikeout pitcher — he’s never averaged more than a strikeout per inning in a single season and has averaged 7.1 per nine for his career, which is certainly a potential concern in a stadium as hitter-friendly as Great American Ball Park — but he’s done a great job of keeping runs off the board and forcing bad contact in recent seasons, and if he does that with the Reds he should be a great fifth option in a rotation that already includes Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Anthony DeSclafani. The signing also gives them some pretty impressive rotation depth to call upon if needed: José De León, Tyler Mahle, Lucas Sims, and Sal Romano are among the potential starting options they’ll have around if an injury occurs or they want to shake things up.
If all goes according to plan, this contract should give Miley the most stability he’s had in a long while. Miley hasn’t spent back-to-back full seasons with the same team since he was with the Diamondbacks in 2013-14; since then he’s been with the Red Sox (2015), Mariners (April-July 2016), Orioles (July 2016-17), Brewers (2019), and Astros (2019).