8:30am: The Phillies and Miller are working toward a deal that would come with a guarantee in the $3MM to $3.5MM range, Morosi tweets.
7:45am: The Phillies are in talks with veteran utilityman Brad Miller about a contract for the 2021 season, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reports (via Twitter). If completed, it’d mark Miller’s second stint with the Phillies after spending half the season with them in 2019.
A Miller reunion would be an affordable and sensible upgrade for the Phillies’ bench. Manager Joe Girardi said this week that with Didi Gregorius now officially back in the fold, it’s likely that Jean Segura is penciled in for the starting role at second base (Twitter link via Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer). Scott Kingery will again bounce around the diamond and see time at multiple positions. Kingery has average or better defensive grades at each of second base, third base, shortstop and in center field but will be looking for a rebound at the plate after slumping through 124 plate appearances in 2020 following a bout with Covid-19.
On days when Kingery is tasked with roaming the outfield, the current iteration of the Phils lacks much in the way of infield depth. The Phillies acquired infield prospect C.J. Chatham — a former Dave Dombrowski draftee — from the Red Sox earlier this winter but have little on the 40-man roster behind him. Ronald Torreyes will be in Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, but at the moment, a couple of injuries would leave the Phillies reliant on a thin farm system that lacks MLB-ready infield talent.
Miller, 31, would give them another versatile player to add to the mix. He’s not the defender that Kingery is, but he’s been a much better hitter of late and has a longer track record at the MLB level. In 171 plate appearances with the Cardinals in 2020, Miller slashed .232/.357/.451, and over the past three years combined he’s a .247/.329/.468 batter with 27 homers, 27 doubles and four triples. He’s strikeout-prone (29.1 percent in that time), which limits his batting average, but Miller draws plenty of walks (10.4 percent) and makes frequent hard contact.
The Cardinals used Miller as a designated hitter more often than anything else in 2020, although he played 15 games at third base and also appeared at shortstop and second base. He lined up most frequently in left field and at third base with the Phillies in 2019, but Miller has more than 3000 MLB innings at shortstop, more than 1200 at second base and more than 600 at first base as well.
The Phillies, by all indications, are angling to stay beneath the $210MM luxury tax threshold, but signing Miller wouldn’t jeopardize that goal. They’re currently at $198.7MM worth of luxury obligations, per Jason Martinez of Roster Resource, and Miller’s price ought to only push that upward by a few million dollars.
Not going to lie, I said the exact same thing when I read the article title.
go figure today is the Lunar New Year
I was hoping Miller to return to St Louis, but if he is going to re-sign with the Phillies is okay.
I agree, thought the Redbirds, should have brought Miller and Weiters back.
Is he really, really bringing the plant with him???!!!
Good bench depth.
Sigh hopefully he doesn’t take Max Scherzer deep again
I would like to spend signing. he had a few big hits in the second half of the 2019 season. it’s always nice to have a left-handed hitter on your bench. this would be a solid but unspectacular move. that’s exactly what the Phillies need more of instead of potential All-Stars at every position some fans want. Dave Dombrowski has had a very good 1st 2 months on the job. He’s already ran circles around Andy mcphail and Matt klentak. this hiring by John Middleton is already paying huge dividends for the Phillies
Agreed. It wasn’t the All-Stars that won in 2008. It was the fill in pieces Pat Gillick found. The Scott Eyre’s, Chad Durbin’s and Matt Stairs of the baseball world.
I think DD has done an outstanding job thus far and I believe the Phillies might actually have a chance at challenging for a WC spot this season.
Agreed, in less than three months Dombrowski has made some solid upgrades. It’s all about the bullpen in 2021, putting up runs won’t be a problem.
Let’s not forget that Shane Victorino was a Rule5 draft acquisition (pre-Gillick) and Jayson Werth was a non-tendered free agent signing. (Both were gifts from the Dodgers.) Lots of great below-the-radar moves.
Dombrowski really gets it. Miller is a solid bench guy with some pop in his bat. He upgraded the bullpen and aside from questions about the 4 & 5 starters, this is a good baseball team. He really improved the Phils in less than three months.
Not to mention he’s a left handed bat in a right handed heavy lineup
Good clubhouse guy too
Are you sure about the pitching?
So you are saying that the Phillies’ need for infield depth would be nailed with Brad?
Would love him back with the Cardinals
From what I remember in 2019, Brad Miller was not only a great bench bat, but an excellent personality in the clubhouse. Probably why so many clubs really like the guy.
More proof that the Cards aren’t really going for it in 2021. They aren’t paying Arenado this year – that trade was for the future. They’re waiting for next off-season when Carp and Fowler and probably Wainwright and maybe Molina are off the books.
And miller,maybe carlos martinez’s option could be declined, and leake I think has alittle this year too. And I think theres someone else I’m missing making deferred money too. Alot coming off the books next year, cards will have money to spend. Doesnt mean they will though
yea, not sure you can jump to the extreme conclusion that the Cards aren’t going for it simply because they didn’t sign a 3-mil bench piece.. I get that he’s apparently a cool dude and had some bit hits with the Cards, but you’re a bit out of touch with reality if you think the brass is sitting around saying, “Listen. If we don’t sign Brad Miller, we might as well throw in the damn towel and see how fast we can race to the bottom for that first overall draft pick.”
Yup, same with some of the RS ‘fans’ we see in here.
“Oh no! We didn’t sign . We are doomed to finish last forever”.
Agree to that
Never understood the dombrowski hate. Hes successful everywhere he goes. “But he destroys the farm!” Who cares? Prospects fail and if the major league team is good im okay with it
Definitely don’t hate him but most teams need a healthy mix of future and present. He’s brought in to basically go full scorched earth on a title and then there is a long rebuild whether they win or not. I don’t think most GM’s have the authorization from their ownership to do that.
It’s really hard to find that balance of sustaining a longterm winner and a healthy farm system. So few teams are able to accomplish it. I’m always impressed when a team is able to compete for a 5-year (or more) window.
Dombrowski gets a “bad rap” by some who don’t look at his entire resume and his entire career “body of work”. In Montreal and Miami, DD built top rated farm system, loaded his teams with young, rising stars through the draft, trades, international signings.
In Detroit and Boston, DD had billionaire impatient owners who directed DD to pull out all the stops and “win now”. DD did what he was ordered to do in Detroit and Boston with much success.
In Detroit and Boston., DD was not allowed by ownership to rebuild his farm system and player pipelines. Ownership in Detroit and Boston wanted to make the World Series every year and to pull out all the stops to do it. Dombrowski. In fact, Dombrowski was fired in Detroit in 2014-2015 for starting the Tigers rebuild by trading David Price, Cespedes., Soria for young building blocks like Matt Boyd, Michael Fulmer, Daniel Norris, CF JaCoby Jones etc,.
Dombrowksi has succeeded with both game plans.
DD has the tools and experience in his tool box to chart multiple pathways to winning and success.
I think it is unfair to criticize Dombrowski for successfully implementing his team’s and Boss’s business plans and succeeding.,
The Detroit ballclub would have received much better players in subsequent rebuilding trades with Dombrowski running the trades
(Justin Verlander, JD Martinez, Justin Upton etc)…
Well said. Here in Detroit the Dombrowsksi years were always exciting. Not all his trades and signings worked out but a majority of them did. Meanwhile the stadium was packed and baseball was exciting.
The Phillies don’t have a farm to destroy. This guy is a winner and this off season shows that.
Dombrowski built the Expansion Marlins into World Champions in record time.
Dombrowski took a 119 loss Tigers ballclub and had them in the World Series in only 3 years.
So if I was a betting man, I would put my money on Dombrowski succeeding with the Phillies.
I every major league team is made of players that were once prospects. The biggest problem the Phillies have is a lack of home grown talent, meaning they’ve had to give out a lot of multi-year contracts to compete. Even the Phillies can’t sustain that forever. Maybe you should start caring about prospects.
George hubschman, roto imbeciles
Brad Miller had the quietest 30 HR season in baseball history with the Rays in 2016. The past couple seasons Miller has been a valuable bench bat and has hit 20 HR in 296 AB with 50 RBI, 40 walks, and an .853 OPS. I would guess that $3-$3.5M is the going rate for a reliable bench bat these days. I would really like this signing more if there was a DH in the NL for 2021.
Looked at his stats and saw he hit 30 homers in 2016. Not a bad bat to have on the bench.
I thought he made sense for Toronto. I still think they need to add a left handed hitter to their bench.
I see what you did there. Nicely done Sir.
Again, the HR totals will likely be affected by the ball deadening that’s going to take place.
3-3.5M is a bit heavy for Miller, whose pretty horrible everywhere defensively, but almost makes up for it by (a) his willingness to do just about anything and (b) per every report, is a plus-plus in the clubhouse. But then DD has never been shy about spending money.
I just don’t understand why they keep trying to turn Kingery into some Marwin Gonzales clone. I wonder how he would do if you told him, “You’re my 2B for 4 months; show me what you’ve got”. I saw him in AA and thought he was a poor man’s Pedroia. You invest in that contract, then turn the guy into something you can get on the FA market a lot cheaper.
He was good early in the year then fizzled fast. He can’t hit leftys and didn’t even make the playoff roster. Good luck and good riddance.
Forget about Kingery’s 2020 performance; he gets a pass due to COVID-19 [I caught it Mar 2020 and needed ~6 mos for the fatigue and complications to leave, so I empathize with him]. If Kingery cannot pick it back up in 2021, then maybe a change of scenery will do him well.
@themed. He actually CAN’T hit lefties. Look at his splits from 2020 and 2019. He has reverse splits.
we cant rely on Kingery in a specific position if we expect to compete. To be honest I’d send him down to play every day at AAA.
but quite frankly this pushes out Chatham (perhaps even off the 40) and I don’t like that. Who goes besides him? Sanchez?
I’m hoping Torreyes is the one who goes…I really think Chatham has the tools to make it as a bench piece for the Phillies.
@HalfBaked My thoughts exactly.
he’s on a Minors deal though. probably wasnt making the team to begin with and doesnt open a 40 man spot.
why would we dump Sanchez he could be a really good lefty that throws hard out of the pen quite honestly would rather see kyle dohy removed before Sanchez @Darkside
i mean maybe, but he’s less polished
That’s not a bad outcome for Kingery, playing everyday in AAA. Utility guys are literally a dime a dozen…probably there’s guys at AAA who can do the job. I just don’t see a commitment to Kingery that will enable him to reach his highest potential, Could be it’s not there; fine, move on. But the guy deserves a shot.
I was thinking the same thing for Franchy for the RS. He’s not good enough, right now, to start for the RS, imho. And he might make a good bench piece.
But I’d rather give him 500 AAA ABs to try to fix the things that are wrong with him.
That said, I have no idea how the minor league option thing works.
You’re not alone. Theo, when he was in Boston, always complained he had to pay a “rules guy” just to keep track of options, waivers, etc.
Basically, once you’re on the 40-man, the club is allowed three option years; not options, like it used to be. (MLB inserted all kinds of rule changes a week after Marvin Miller died; it was all coincidental, they said). So for three years (sometimes, rarely, four), the team can move you up and down from the major league “active” roster. September call-ups DON’T count, since technically you’re not being optioned anywhere once the season ends.
Codero has 2 option years left, per Roster Resources.
Now when you’re ‘out of options” (really, option years) you can’t be sent down without being waived. If you go unclaimed, and you have less than 6 years service time (total time, including minors); you’re stuck; you go the teams
AAA club. If you’ve got more than 6 years, you’re a free agent.
One of the other changes they snuck in while the MLBPA was sleeping was increasing the time they could keep you off the 40-man. It used to be (in general, it’s actually age-based) 3 years for college guys, 4 years for high schoolers. They just changed the parameters to 4 and 5. So you’re basically at their mercy for an extra year.,
Thanks. I know Cordero was up and down for a number of years. If he has two options left, the RS have some room to maneuver.
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Spot on Bob.His Covid did not help last year but he is a fine second baseman who has been turned into a young Sean Rodriguez because he is a good athlete.I think that affects the hitting of a young player adversely.They do not really know about him unless they put him at second and trade Segura for pitching.
The Pirates are doing the same thing with Cole Tucker and are not giving him a chance at his primary position.Let them play there to see whether they can hit or not.
The comparison to Cole Tucker is an excellent one. I’m not sure what the Pirates are attempting to gain by shoving Tucker (who, by all reports, is a plus fielder at SS) into CF. Does that maximize his potential contribution? Even with a light bat, Tucker contributes to wins as a SS; as a CF, that contribution declines; how many “glove- first” guys can you have?
And I’ve got to think, just by human nature, that burdening a young player by having him play a position he’s never played before (and I believe that Tucker had NEVER played CF) affects his offensive output. The game is tough enough for a player trying to establish himself; why complicate matters?
Look, Kingery may be nothing more than he’s shown; same with Tucker (tho with much better hair). Branch Rickey once said “It’s a baseball, not a crystal ball”. But you’ve got to maximize the potential to contribute.
Mendoza Line 215
What I do not understand is why it is more obvious to a former ex ML catcher and a shortstop than to ML execs making ten times more than we ever did!
The Pirates in particular do not have an excuse for not playing Tucker and Newman to find out what they have.It is not like they are going anywhere this year.
I live near Philadelphia and feel bad for Kingery as he was an excellent second baseman.The problem is that they would have to trade Segura who has a hefty price tag but is still a pretty good hitter.With Miller in the fold they may be able to do so.
Thanks for the post.
time to do some searching on the 40 men to see who could be expendable…. maybe we could drop Rosso and Cathem we should probably actually try to move Hasley or Quinn because I don’t think we should let go of any of these hard throwing reliever prospects.
Probably should try to move one of the outfielders if its Quinn, Hasley, Moaniack as well as maybe drop Rosso and Cathem I like the surplus of hard-throwing lefty relievers was have.
Regardless of how you feel about Haseley’s potential as a regular CF, it is his job to lose at this point (unless the Phils make some kind of surprising JBJ signing, which I don’t see happening). Haseley won’t be dropped from the 40 man for Miller; it will be a reliever most likely.
I’m not saying drop him from the 40 man, I meant trade him
maton, muzziotti, moniak–we wouldnt miss
or perhaps a trade coming involving moniak, odubel, vv, —to colorado for blackmon and lots of cash would be good
Blackmon isn’t a CF anymore and its doubtful the Rockies or anyone else will touch Odubel with a 10 foot pole. If he was tradable it would have happened already.
Most likely Phillies go with some kind of Haseley/Quinn/Kingery rotation in CF unless one really has a great spring and runs away with the job
Agreed. Living in Colorado and going to Coors regularaly and watching Blackmon play, his CF days are over outside of an immediate, single game need.
id drop Llovera over Rosso
Would have much rather had Marwin Gonzalez for that 3 million or so, but the Sox snatched him up first. Dang.
I’m not sure of the exact day, but starting someday soon (within the week or so) the 60-DL can be used for Seranthony Dominguez.
Love it. Left handed pop off the bench that can occasionally spell Bohm, Rhys & Cutch vs. tough RH’s like Scherzer & Strasburg. Can play middle infield in emergency situations and will be a nice source of left handed power late in games. Love what the Phillies have done this offseason but I would use whatever remaining money under the cap to sign Cole Hamels & Tyler Clippard.
I think signing Cole would be great for the team and the town…..but he must want too much money for an old guy who was hurt last year and robbed the Braves……..
Should the Phillies trade Obdubel Herrerra (sp) or give him a 2nd chance
Happy Friday everyone..The last few comments around Goofy is timely..When asked the other day about Odubel, DD said “a decision had not yet been made to invite him to camp”, then, he added, “we are working on something private and right now, I cannot talk about it”.., so if I want to stretch what he was saying, I think quite possibly there is in fact a deal they are working on that might involve multiple players. which would primarily fix the Lux Tax line and then add economically useful players…keep in mind, the team will absolutely have a 40 man problem that also must be addressed..
just my current thought..
Maybe Miller has a preference for Philly or something, but I would’ve much preferred Miller over Villar. The Mets lineup is already deep and solid, they don’t need Villar’s high ceiling and they definitely don’t need his low floor.
Add this to the Marisnick/Almora decision where it seems like the Mets choose the lesser of two similarly priced options.
Maybe the moves the Mets made will work out. Can’t wait until the season is here so we can find out.
ESPN already has Brad on the Phils depth chart…..I guess he signed……
Solid move for a very thin bench.