Jim Hendry took a nice low-risk gamble today, inking Wade Miller to a one-year pact for $1MM. He can reach $2MM with incentives.
Miller gutted his way through 91 innings in 2005 for the Red Sox, posting a 4.95 ERA. Miller had the dreaded labrum surgery on his shoulder in late September 2005.
UPDATE: First, a few notes on labrum tear survivors. Chris Carpenter and Jose Valverde are the best examples, and Carpenter sat out almost two years. Valverde still hasn’t matched his per-surgery velocity. Six months is a general guideline for a pitcher to resume activity. (Tip of the cap to Will Carroll for the info).
Also, Wade Miller and his agent Bob Garber were on WGN’s Sports Central with Dave Kaplan tonight. Miller had many teams inquire, but all of them required an option for a second year or just a non-roster invite. Hendry pushed for the option at first as well. Garber indicated that Miller never considered accepting anything but a one-year deal with no option. The interested parties came down to the Cubs and Mariners, and the Cubs were Miller’s preference all along (or so he says).
Miller has already begun throwing at 60 feet, and he plans to join the Cubs’ rotation by mid-May. I’m paraphrasing here, but Garber and Miller seemed entirely confident that Miller is considered a lock for a rotation spot upon his Cubs debut. Obviously the Cubs will have too many starters on their hands, but it sure beats throwing John Koronka and Sergio Mitre to the wolves.