3:34pm: Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets that Miller will receive a $1MM base salary on his contract.
10:52am: The Indians have signed infielder/outfielder Brad Miller to a major league contract, Mandy Bell of MLB.com reports. Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com first connected Miller to the Tribe earlier this weekend. To make room for Miller, the Indians placed rehabbing right-hander Danny Salazar on the 60-day injured list.
It’s a one-year pact for the ISE Baseball client, who had to settle for a minors deal with the Dodgers back in February. The 29-year-old opted out of that contract earlier this week in favor of a trip to the open market, however. The gamble paid off for Miller, who will give the Indians an experienced middle infield option as they wait for shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jason Kipnis to return from the injured list.
Prior to Miller’s arrival, the unproven tandem of Eric Stamets and Max Moroff projected as the Indians’ season-opening middle infield. But Miller’s addition will likely unseat Moroff at second, according to Hoynes. Miller has totaled upward of 1,100 major league innings at the keystone, where he has accounted for minus-seven Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-7.4 Ultimate Zone Rating. The former Mariner, Ray and Brewer has seen quite a bit of action at shortstop, first base and in the outfield as well, though he has also struggled in those spots.
Defensive versatility is part of Miller’s appeal, but offense has been his calling card in the bigs. A 30-home run hitter in Tampa Bay as recently as 2016, Miller has combined for a roughly league-average line of .239/.313/.409 (99 wRC+) with 75 HRs and a .170 ISO in 2,505 major league PAs. Miller essentially matched those numbers between the Rays and Brewers last year, when he hit .248/.311/.409 (97 wRC+) with seven homers and a .165 ISO in 254 trips to the plate. The left-handed Miller struck out a personal-worst 32.5 percent of the time, though, and didn’t offer much production against southpaws – which has been the case throughout his career.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Your parents must be so very proud
Wait, I thought I was last?
Nope, just laster.
Probably means Hanley Ramirez doesn’t make the roster, no?
Kipnis may not he ready to start the season. Miller could just be for depth.
Both Kipnis and Lindor went on the DL or IL or whatever they call it now. Neither will start the season with them.
given that Moroff hasnt been outplayed by him, i think it’s a safe assumption.
Hanley will probably still make the roster; Miller is just a replacement for while Kipnis is on the IL. I’d imagine Stamets will play short for Lindor and Moroff will be the utility guy.
Then when Lindor and Kipnis come back, Stamets will probably be optioned and Miller will probably be DFAed. I guess Kipnis might be out for a little while then, because it wouldn’t make much sense to bring in an outside addition otherwise.
Miller will play second base so has nothing to do with Hanley
Hanley is a lock.
……who runs like a rock.
so Paul Hoynes has ESP then?
Depends on what word the S stands for.
You know you are desperate when you start handing out major league deals to Brad Miller.
I believe he’s actually had a decent spring.
They knew he was going to break camp with them while Kipnis is out, so they could have signed him to a minor league deal and added him to the 40-man roster in a few days but they might as well skip a step
Unless he’s awful and no other team chooses to pick him up after his release. This option guarantees him his entire 1MM salary regardless. Small potatoes for a ML team but slightly surprising.
Tampa Bay gave him a ML spot last season and preceeded to win 90. He was later traded to Milwaukee who went on to win 96
Doesn’t appear his presence is a problem for a club
Brad Miller posted an OPS of .666 with MIL. Just because he didnt single handedly destroy them from within doesnt mean he is even an average player.
Being an average hitter isn’t the question either. It’s if a team having to use him is in trouble – and his 2018 teams show that is not the case.
That said, Miller also posted a 97 OPS+ last season between his two clubs, and it’s hard to call a roughly league average bat a horrible bat
The number of the devil . Rock on Brad Miller.
.666? Wouldn’t that make him more of a “Devil” Ray than a Brewer or Indian?
Listen you could probably do worse than Miller for a guy literally straight off the scrap heap to plug a hole. That said, they better hope that they don’t have to count on him for significant ABs over the course of the season or they could be in trouble.
Literally? Ah, I get it. Another person misusing that word.
It’s kinda sad to see Cleveland settling for this level of player.
Really? Filling in the roster hole for the short term with the guy that’s not breaking camp elsewhere is really sad to see? Would you prefer they spend their money on a more permanent solution to a very temporary problem?
We’ve settled for Kipnis for a few years now so….
Because the Tribe is stuck with that contract. And if he comes with 18 dingers and 75 RBIs again this year like last year I’ll be OK with that.
Exactly. And he’s still a 1-2 WAR player, even despite his shortcomings. He’s overpaid for sure but he’s not useless.
Miller or Kipnis for us is really no difference. They honestly could just tag in and out of the DL.
Hahahaha. So true. I’m starting to believe Kipnis is becoming Chisenhall 2.0 .
Vandals Took The Handles
As anyone that has followed them knows, the Indians are tapped out financially.
They have enough to win the ALC in 2019. But no way do they get past the Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, or Astros in the playoffs. The fans know this run is over. Ticket sales are down with TV ratings to follow….meaning even more financial cutbacks.
Lindor and Bauer won’t even talk to them about an extension. If paid the market rate, they’d find themselves on the field with castoff journeymen and rookies as that’s all the Indians will be able to afford. They can go to large market teams.
At some point in the next few years Francona bails into retirement. He’s the one that made the good things happen.
Lindor, Rameriz, and 3-4 of their starting pitchers will need to be shopped before the Indians lose them for draft picks. Everyone involved knows this. But as long as the ALC sucks (and don’t Twins me) it “just doesn’t look good” if the Indians go into full rebuild mode, so they’ll hold off…..which in turn will limit their long-term ceiling.
Houston lost 3/5 of their starting rotation. Boston has no bullpen. The Yankees have MANY concerns with the health of their rotation. Cleveland has outfield concerns. All four teams have weaknesses. With the Indians starting rotation, I would not count them out.
Vandals Took The Handles
That’s all well and good.
But the Indians only have 3 quality hitters…..and I’m stretching it by including Santana.
Exactly how many do you believe they had in 2016, when they went to game 7 of the WS with a roster of just Roberto Perez, Santana, Kipnis, Lindor, Ramirez, Michael Martinez, Mike Napoli, Rajai Davis, Chisenhall, Crisp, Guyer and Naquin?
That team received a shocking performance from Naquin in his 365 PA and a strong year from Santana as the only 2 players to post an OPS+ over 115. Otherwise Ramirez was the only other 100+ PA guy even topping 110, and the teams overall line was merely .262/.329/.430 (96 OPS+)
The great thing about baseball is every year is a new year and you never know who is next to be a breakout star. JD Martinez got cut his 3rd year in Houston not doing much of anything before going to Detroit and becoming a great hitter. Mookie Betts was a good but not elite hitter his first 2 years before breaking out in 2016. The Indians outfielders are mostly young guys with a lot of potential playing in their 2nd or 3rd year and anyone of them could be the next Mookie or JD this year. It’s not something you should count on when you say you want to win the world series but that’s what the trade deadline is for if things don’t work out.
That’s great but the teams that have more quality hitters have far less quality pitching.
That’s why it’s a TEAM sport. The entire team working together. It’s more than just hitters.
Vandals Took The Handles
That would be nice if they had a lot of speed, moved runners around, hit to the opposite field, ran the bases smartly, and played strong defense.
They can do some of those things during the season and win the ALC. But they were never in the playoff series with the Astros offensively; and since then they’ve lost Brantley, EE, and Gomes, replacing them with Santana, Luplow and Plawecki.
Astros cheated. Everybody knows that.
No base Running? Leading all of baseball in SBs doesn’t count for anything? And they were 4th in OPS, so that patchwork lineup must be doing something right.
People can keep on banging on the Tribe for not opening up the checkbook more but they just can’t, they need to spend within reason. They could double their payroll and then be home as soon as the playoffs get started like one of Boston or the Yankees.
Play a marathon 162 games and then get hot or cold for a couple games and the whole season means nothing. But as long as you get to that playoff series you have a punchers chance.
I’ll Twins you. They dont have elite pitching like Cleveland, but there’s depth, and its not bad. They have a much better lineup, IMO. Plus they are hungry. The mood in Cleveland is down. Fans aren’t buying in, and neither is the front office. On paper, Cleveland should win the division, but if they start slow, I could see things just snowballing.
ZiPS has the Twins projected lineup producing 15.5 WAR
ZiPS has the Indians projected lineup at 20.5 WAR
So there’s that
Thanks for speaking for all Tribe fans…….NOT.
Vandals Took The Handles
I speak for me, and reference the decline in ticket sales going into 2019.
As noted by other posters here, the local sports fans are moving to the Browns.
Let’s get one thing straight — never ever call me son again. Chances are I’m older than you, and if I’m not, you’re still not to call me son. I have a dad, and you’re not him.
Miller Hanley Cargo ….lol
Marlon Byrd, Collin Cowgill, Juan Uribe
They all made the Indians 2016 opening day roster
Yeah but that team only went to extra innings of game seven of the World Series…
You have to go all the way back to 2005 to find a Cleveland team that had more than 4 position players with a WAR over 2.1. And a WAR of 2.0 is average
Over those 13 years with 4 or fewer guys posting a 2.1+ WAR, the club went 1082-1022 (.514) with 5 playoff births on almost no salary cost
People apparently haven’t paid attention to how the Indians play baseball at all the last decade plus.
Wahoo What a Finish!
The Dolans motto: “one teams trash is our discount treasure.”
And here I thought it was “we put a pennant winning product out on the field, why won’t you come out to the ballpark and see an exciting team?”…
Yeah, Just take the wife and kids to the ball park and spend 100+ dollars.
WTH does that have to do with it? I’d guess the price to take the family to the park is cheaper than any of the other playoff teams.
It has nothing to do with anything. Cleveland fans just enjoy complaining. We have the cheapest ticket prices in all of MLB. I’m not saying they’re not expensive for most working class families, but they’re still the cheapest. If we can’t afford them, then we’re merely arguing we’re not major league, and frankly, I don’t want to be telling the world that. I love being a major league city too much. A football team doesn’t make you major league (Green Bay? Jacksonville?) A basketball team doesn’t make you major league (Oklahoma City? Sacra-tomato?) Baseball is the only sport that makes you major league. So let’s start acting like it, or send the Tribe packing and just obsess over our eight stinkin’ football games a year, because that’s the extent of our attention span. C’mon.