Indians reliever Andrew Miller could be one of the faces of a star-studded class of free agents next winter, but he’d prefer to continue his career in Cleveland. “I’m focused on this season. But absolutely. If I have an opportunity to stay here, I would. I love it here. The city’s been great to us. I can’t imagine a better place to be,” Miller told Grant Segall of Cleveland.com. After combining for a 1.93 ERA with 14.7 K/9, 2.48 BB/9 and a 51 percent groundball rate from 2013-17, the 32-year-old Miller will attempt to turn in yet another elite campaign in 2018. He’ll earn $9MM in the process.
More from around baseball…
- Mets outfielder Michael Conforto has made notable progress in his recovery from the left shoulder surgery he underwent last September. Still, the Mets informed Conforto on Sunday that he’ll open the season on the disabled list, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports. New York’s not taking any risks with Conforto after he slashed a tremendous .279/.384/.555 (146 wRC+) with 27 home runs in 440 plate appearances last season, his age-24 campaign. As the Mets await Conforto’s 2018 debut, their outfield will consist of some combination of Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares.
- Free-agent right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Feldman are drawing interest from teams seeking starting depth, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. The 34-year-old Jimenez endured an ugly 2017 in Baltimore, where he logged a 6.81 ERA/5.54 FIP in 142 2/3 innings (31 appearances, 25 starts). Feldman, 35, also struggled – he made 21 starts with the Reds and pitched to a 4.77 ERA/5.04 FIP across 111 1/3 frames.
- Cubs catcher Chris Gimenez has a June 1 opt-out date in the minor league contract he signed over the winter, Bruce Levine of 670thescore tweets. Gimenez isn’t on the Cubs’ season-opening roster, but he’ll give them some veteran depth behind Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini for at least a couple months.
- Ryan Rua has beaten out Drew Robinson for the Rangers’ starting left field job, per TR Sullivan of MLB.com. Prospect Willie Calhoun vied for the role earlier in the spring, but the Rangers demoted him to the minors in mid-March. The 28-year-old Rua logged time with the Rangers in each of the previous four seasons, hitting an uninspiring .246/.305/.388 in 608 PAs. The majority of the right-handed Rua’s success has come versus left-handed pitchers, against whom he has batted .273/.326/.433.
Free Clay Zavada
Really curious about what kind of contract Miller will get, assuming another strong performance.
While he’s a stud, he’s old and a reliever, there’s lot of risk of him dropping off the map. I wouldn’t go over two years, but I think he may get four.
If he really, really wants to stay in Cleveland, he would probably have to accept a two year offer, with a possible option year.
But in all seriousness, I don’t see the Tribe being able to afford him.
Yeah I’d be shocked if he ends up coming back to the Indians. I’d probably rather they re-sign him than Cody Allen, but if either one of them is on the roster next year I’d be surprised.
Cleveland rarely offers extensions to older players like Allen and Miller. The QO might be a possibility for Allen, but Miller would no doubt accept it, so Tribe won’t extend it. This is simply a market where few, if any, players today spend their entire career.
If Miller gets a QO from the Indians I actually think there’s little to no chance he’d accept it…he should easily get a solid multiyear deal no matter what
If he has another strong year, I could see him getting $45 million over 3 years.
I can see the Yankees bringing him back.
I mean yeah, obviously. Big market teams are the only ones willing to give a middle reliever $15 mil annually.
Granted, he could be a closer for a lot of teams but the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc will have offers out there for him to be a high leverage middle inning guy. If the Indians had $200 mil as a payroll they’d be involved but they simply don’t. It’s crazy that the league office just ignores that small market teams are at a huge disadvantage.
Except MLB doesn’t ignore this, that is why there is revenue sharing. So instead of commenting on something you obviously know nothing about. You should find a new team to root for whose owner actually feeds all the profit back into the team.
“You should find a new team to root for whose owner actually feeds all the profit back into the team.”
Name that team.
You do realize that all of those big spending, large market teams that “really want to win” are still making more money than those “greedy” “penny pinching” small market owners, right?
As if the Steinbrenners are living off Ramen noodles in order to put a winner on the field for their fans because they just love them so very much while evil Bob Nutting bathes in a bath tub of $100 bills laughing…
Ricketts paid big money for cubs. They seem to put it back. Big resto of wrigley and spent heavy in free agency . Harper on radar next year .
He will get closer money, because he’s proven he can do that, except he’s even more valuable than a typical closer because he can go multiple innings and doesn’t have an ego so you can use him in any role you want. Now, I’m saying all that to justify why he’s going to get a big contract, but that doesn’t mean I would do it. He may get 4 years, $60 million, but if I’m the GM, I wouldn’t give that to him at his age and with all the wear & tear on his arm the last few seasons.
If Juan Nicasio can get 2 yrs 17 million for the M’s that 3 yrs at 45million is not unrealistic. In saying that teams/FO’s have gained a lot of power in negotiating this off-season. Look at how many FA’s settled for contracts worth much less than the qualifying offers they received at the beginning offseason. It will be interesting to see how this shift in power will affect next yr’s FA class
Free Clay Zavada
I think Miller’s status as a free agent headliner that can improve any contender (no team tends to have enough reliable bullpen guys come playoff time, see 2017 Cubs) will mean he won’t be lacking for offers in his price range.
He’ll get and deserves a monster contract. If he stays healthy this year he’ll get a 4 year, $60 million contract at the absolute minimum. Could be 5/$90 even he’s that good.
Front offices had no additional power this off season in negotiating with relief pitchers. They still made bank, with the exception of one closer (Holland) who turned down a monster offer because he thought he could get more only to watch everyone else come off the board.
It was a weak free agent class this year. Next year it’s Machado,, Harper, Kershaw, Kuechel, and Kimbrel to name a few. Miller will get offers but I think 3/40 is more realistic given his age. I still think it is possible that Cleveland keeps him for 4/50.
Is Calhoun being sent down a delay of his service time or is he really that bad on defense? Seriously, Ryan Rua?
It’s a service time thing. Expect to see Willie with the Rangers by early may..
The Adrian Beltre
Calhoun is a service time thing and a no defensive home thing(at least in a punt year it is), and Ryan Rua without a platoon partner is an early draft pick thing I suppose…
As an O’s fan I can say it is misleading to say Ubaldo endures an ugly 2017; we fans suffered through FOUR really awful years of him.
Yeah it was seriously rough watching him pitch. The orioles could use some depth though. I got one hope they stay away from him and look at Feldman again and maybe even Kazmir. We don’t carry a LH in the rotation and would be a decent 5th option until Cobb is ready and then a good option out of the bullpen if he will accept that role. Either way both are better options then what we have in house.
Agreed. They keep saying an awful 2017, but IIRC, he was sent to the pen and back in 2015, and wasn’t great in 2016.
Whoever signs Ubaldo is in for a treat…
More like treatment.
Given their rotation woes I’ll bet both Jimenez and Feldman are being seriously considered by the Giants. They may have to take a flier on one of them just to survive the first half if they don’t trade for a SP.
I remember that one year when everyone wanted Ubaldo Jimenez and then… well, you all know what happened.
End it all seem to fall apart the day he got traded away from Colorado. Oddly enough even though the train was announced he stayed in purged that game did horrible and never really rebounded.
> Cubs catcher Chris Gimenez has a June 1 opt-out date in the minor league contract he signed over the winter
Not news — that’s in the CBA; it’s not something unique to his contract. His service time grants him that right.
It’s news because a lot of players negotiate earlier opt-out dates in minor league deals so that they can look for other opportunities if they don’t make the roster out of spring training
> It’s news because a lot of players negotiate earlier opt-out dates… if they don’t make the roster out of spring training
Give your head a shake. June 1 is not “earlier,” nor is it “spring training.” But it is in the CBA, as I said.
The CBA is online and, while a bore to read, it is searchable, which is a great help for these discussions. I recommend everyone download a copy.
Miller may love it in Cleveland, but he’s still going to want a king’s ransom, especially if he has another great season, and I don’t know about giving a pitcher on the wrong side of 30 four years at about $15 per or more. As for the Cubs, I think they made a mistake. Caratini needs playing time, and Contreras is young, so he needs a veteran behind him.. Gimenez is a solid backup with a lot of energy. A leader & terrific clubhouse guy, he kind of reminds me of David Ross, and we all know what his presence did for the club in 2016.. And finally, choosing a player based on spring stats is risky business, as that small sample size will often fool a team.
Miller also may hate it in Cleveland, but he isn’t going to say otherwise just like any other player in the league that has playing time and is on a competitive team.
History tells us clearly that CLE just doesn’t keep its veterans who are about to enter free agency regardless of who they are or what they’ve done. Thome, Ramirez, Colon, Sabathia, Lee, etc.
The problem with that comparison is that all of those guys were drafted and developed by the Indians (except Lee, who was acquired when he was still a prospect anyway) so they were still fairly young and the contracts they would get were way too long and expensive for the Indians to afford.
Besides, those examples were all several years ago when Shapiro was the GM. Antonetti was still working under him, but he’s already shown an aggression (signing Encarnacion, trading for Miller, etc.) that Shapiro never did.