The Cubs have agreed to a deal with right-hander Shelby Miller, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports (via Twitter). The non-guaranteed contract will pay Miller $875K if he makes Chicago’s big league roster, with another $600K available in bonus money. The signing will be official when Miller passes a physical.
Miller signed a minor league deal with the Brewers last winter but didn’t see any action, as he opted out of the 2020 season in August. Since the start of the 2017 season, Miller has tossed only 82 big league innings, thanks in large part to a Tommy John procedure that sidelined him for much of 2017 and 2018.
Still only 30 years old, Miller will be joining his sixth different organization in a pro career that has seen major highs and lows. Drafted 19th overall by the Cardinals in 2009, Miller posted very strong numbers over his first three MLB seasons — with St. Louis in 2013-14 and with Atlanta in 2015, after Miller was swapped to the Braves as part of a noteworthy trade that saw Jason Heyward go to the Cards. Unfortunately for Miller, he was part of another blockbuster trade a year later, going to the Diamondbacks and then never again regaining his early-career form.
There isn’t much risk for the Cubs in adding Miller as a reclamation project, as Miller could be one of a few veterans brought into camp on low-cost or non-guaranteed contracts as Chicago looks for veteran rotation depth. Beyond Kyle Hendricks and Zach Davies, the Cubs’ other rotation candidates don’t have much experience — projected third and fourth starters Adbert Alzolay and Alec Mills, and then a plethora of young arms competing for a look as the fifth starter.