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Cubs claim Wade Miley off waivers from Reds

The Cubs pick up one of baseball’s most consistent starters in 2021.

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Cubs have claimed left-hander Wade Miley off waivers from the Reds — a testament to Cincinnati’s desperation to reduce their payroll this offseason and of several other clubs to avoid adding to their budget as a potential lockout approaches this winter:

Miley, who turns 35 next week, has a $10 million club option for 2022. The Reds could have picked up the option and tried to trade him this winter rather than giving up a quality player and not receiving any return, but Reds GM Nick Krall said Friday that the team had been trying to trade him with no success. Rather than risking having to pay Miley for 2022 or trade him along with a prospect to shed his salary, Cincinnati instead put him through waivers.

Miley tied for sixth in the majors in pitching WAR (according to Baseball Reference) at 5.7 in 2021. He posted a 3.37 ERA with a .265 opponent batting average, 125 strikeouts, and 50 walks in 163 innings and threw a no-hitter against Cleveland on May 7.

He’s the third significant player from the 2021 Reds who has departed the team in the last three days. They traded catcher Tucker Barnhart to the Tigers on Wednesday, and outfielder Nick Castellanos opted out of the final two years of his contract on Thursday.

While it’s unclear if the Cubs are really intent on competing in 2022, Miley is a strong addition to a rotation mix that really doesn’t have anyone proven right now except Kyle Hendricks (who struggled in his own right for most of 2021).