Aaron Miles Rumors

Aaron Miles To Retire

Veteran Aaron Miles is set to retire according to the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate, writes Matthew Pouliot of Circling The Bases.  Miles, 35, hit .235/.297/.338 in 18 games for Albuquerque this season.

The infielder hooked on with the Dodgers in February of last year on a minor league deal.  Miles would go on to make the big league roster and make 490 plate appearances with a .275/.314/.346 slash line.  The veteran's agent, David Schwartz, told MLBTR in April that his client hoped to play in 2012 and in May he hooked on again with the Dodgers.

For his career, Miles hit .281/.320/.352 across nine big league seasons with the White Sox, Rockies, Cardinals, Cubs, and Dodgers.  Baseball-Reference pegs his career earnings at roughly $8.77MM through 2011.

Dodgers Sign Aaron Miles

The Dodgers have signed infielder Aaron Miles to a minor league contract, reports Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times. He is currently working out at the team's Spring Training complex in Arizona. Eric Stephen of True Blue LA first reported the signing (on Twitter).

Miles, 35, hit .275/.314/.346 in 490 plate appearances for the Dodgers last year. Last month we learned that the David Schwartz client aimed to play this season. Miles is a .281/.320/.352 career hitter who has played primarily second base, though he has experience at several other positions as well. The Dodgers are currently without utility man Jerry Hairston Jr., who is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

Aaron Miles Aims To Play In 2012

Free agent infielder Aaron Miles hopes to play this season, so he's staying in shape in anticipation of the right opportunity. Agent David Schwartz says the 35-year-old Miles will be ready if an opening emerges.

Miles became a fixture on last year's Dodgers team, hitting .275/.314/.346 in 490 plate appearances. He hasn’t played much shortstop in recent years, but Schwartz says his client can fill in at short, second and third if necessary. Miles spent considerable time at second and third last year, and appeared briefly at shortstop, a position he hasn't played much since 2008.

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Ned Colletti Talks Offseason

Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times has a slew of information from Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti regarding the team's offseason plans. Colletti feels that his team's pitching and defense have been sufficient, but that the offense is lacking and needs to be bolstered:

"I say the most dramatic way we can improve the offense, that would be the way we would go," Colletti said.

Obviously, that could be an allusion to Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols, but the Dodgers' uncertain ownership and financial situations make a signing of that magnitude a stretch. Dilbeck points out that Colletti has never signed a player to a $100MM+ deal, and that Kevin Brown is the only player in Dodgers' history to receive such a contract. At the same time, however, Dilbeck also notes that the Dodgers do have $25MM in contracts coming off the books, so a run at one of the Top 2 free agents isn't necessarily unfathomable.

In the likely event that neither player comes to the Dodgers, Colletti says that James Loney is someone they'd "love to have back." Loney's overall numbers don't appear all that productive, but he's batting .355/.435/.653 with seven homers in his last 37 games. A strong finish could persuade the Dodgers to bring him back, although doing so would require giving him a raise on this year's $4.875MM salary — a risk given Loney's mostly underwhelming numbers.

Colletti also mentions re-signing Hiroki Kuroda as a priority; even if they were to retain Kuroda though, they'd require a fifth starter. Nathan Eovaldi and Dana Eveland can both be candidates, and of course the free agent market figures to offer plenty of low-budget reclamation projects that could be brought in to fill that role as well.

Beyond that, role players such as Tony Gwynn Jr., Casey Blake, Aaron Miles, and Juan Rivera may all return "in the right situation." For what it's worth, Gwynn told Dilbeck's colleague Jim Peltz that he hopes to return to the Dodgers next season.

Dodgers Sign Aaron Miles

6:04pm: SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that Miles will earn $500K if he makes the team (Twitter link).

3:54pm: The Dodgers signed Aaron Miles to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training, the team announced (on Twitter). Miles, 34, can provide depth up the middle behind Jamey Carroll, Rafael Furcal and Juan Uribe.

The eight-year MLB veteran drew interest from other clubs, including a former team of his, the Rockies, before heading West. He'll arrive at Dodgers camp with a career .282/.321/.354 line. Last year was a typical one for Miles, who hit .281/.311/.317 for the Cardinals while playing second, third and short and chipping in with two scoreless pitching appearances.

Multiple Teams Interested In Aaron Miles

11:04pm: Renck confirmed that the Rockies are out on Miles after signing Amezaga (Twitter link). Yesterday's workout sold them on his ability to help the club.

8:16pm: Utility infielder Aaron Miles is drawing interest from multiple AL and NL teams according to Troy Renck of The Denver Post (on Twitter). The Rockies were rumored to be one such team, but they signed Alfredo Amezaga to a minor-league contract earlier today. The Nationals had interest in Miles earlier this offseason as well.

The 34-year-old hit .281/.311/.317 in 151 plate appearances for the Cardinals last season, not all that far off from his .282/.321/.354 career batting line. He has plenty of experience at both middle infield spots and has dabbled at third base and in left field in his career. Miles also has five career pitching appearances (3.60 ERA) to his credit, so he can always do that in an emergency as well.

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Rockies Looking To Add Pieces

The Rockies are considering available free agents as they look to add rotation depth, left-handed relief and infield help, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Rockies would like to add a veteran starter and David Bush and Rodrigo Lopez are among the team’s targets.

The team would also like to sign a left-handed reliever to a minor league deal. Matt Reynolds (21 career appearances) and Franklin Morales (88 career appearances) are the team's current options, so they’re eyeing veteran help. Former Rockie Joe Beimel does not appear to be an option, according to the Denver Post.

Alfredo Amezaga, Cristian Guzman and Aaron Miles are among the backup infielders the club is considering. The Rockies appear to prefer Amezaga to Miles, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Rockies still have interest in a higher profile infielder: Michael Young. Young will earn $16MM in each of the next three seasons and the Rangers say they expect him to stay in Texas. 

Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine told  Mike Ferrin and Morgan Ensberg on MLB Network Radio that  “we’re looking at [Young] as our primary DH but also a guy who’s going to play all over the infield.” The team expects Young to get plenty of playing time, even though they just acquired former division rival Mike Napoli.

The Rockies also signed veteran catcher Chad Moeller to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America.

Nationals Interested In Bloomquist, Miles, Cairo

The Nationals are interested in Willie Bloomquist, Aaron Miles and Miguel Cairo, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson (on Twitter). GM Mike Rizzo is apparently looking to add versatility to his bench.

Bloomquist, 33 this month, said at the end of the season that he wanted to play every day in 2011. He batted .267/.299/.380, so it seems doubtful that teams would see him as a regular. Instead, clubs will presumably ask Bloomquist to move all around the diamond as he did last year, when he played all four infield positions and all three outfield positions.

Miles, 33, batted .281/.311/.317 for the Cardinals last year. He played short, second and third and even pitched two scoreless innings (lowering his career ERA to 3.60).

The Reds have had preliminary talks about re-signing Cairo, who batted .290/.353/.410 in 226 plate appearances last year. The 15-year veteran played five positions for Cincinnati.

Miles Staying With Cardinals

Kary Booher of the Springfield News-Leader reports that veteran infielder Aaron Miles has agreed to remain with the Cardinals organization.  Miles signed a minor-league contract with St. Louis last month, and according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach, the deal contained an out clause that would've allowed Miles to become a free agent if he wasn't on the major league roster within 30 days of his signing.

That 30-day deadline passed yesterday, but Booher says the contract was extended after Miles spoke with St. Louis GM John Mozeliak.  Miles will continue to play for Double-A Springfield so he can receive regular playing time, and Mozeliak said that he and manager Tony La Russa will meet and discuss if a spot can be found for Miles on the Cardinals' roster. 

Miles has a slash line of .318/.400/.386 in 52 plate appearances for Springfield.  Though his bat is less a consideration than his defensive versatility, the scuffling St. Louis offense could use as many hot bats as they can get right now.  (Regular second baseman Skip Schumaker has just a .634 OPS this season.)

Odds & Ends: Bradley, Miles, Harwell, Zito

Links for Wednesday, as Ty Wigginton continues his assault on the American League…

  • Milton Bradley left the Mariners in the middle of last night's game, reports ESPN's Mike Salk.  The distractions become difficult to tolerate when he's hitting .214/.313/.371. GM Jack Zduriencik says Bradley asked the organization for help following last night's incident and will sit out for a few days while he works out personal "issues," according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
  • Bradley, for his part, texted Peter Gammons (Twitter link) to say: "Any reports I said I'm packing up and leaving are 100% fabricated."
  • The Cardinals aren't sure yet whether Aaron Miles will work his way up to the bigs, writes Andy Jasner at MLB.com. The team is evaluating Miles' progress after signing him to a minor league deal last week.
  • Baseball fans are mourning the loss of Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell, who was 92. A public viewing will take place Thursday night at Comerica Park.
  • Barry Zito's 2014 option for $18MM vests if he starts racking up 200 inning seasons, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Even if it remains a club option, the Giants face a hefty $7MM buyout.
  • Baseball America's Jim Callis says Texas high school righty Jameson Taillon is the consensus #2 in the June draft.  Will the Pirates spring for him?  Will the Orioles have a shot at #3?