12:22pm: Miller is guaranteed $3.5MM on the deal, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
11:45am: The Phillies announced Wednesday that they’ve signed utilityman Brad Miller to a one-year, Major League contract. Right-hander Seranthony Dominguez, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, has been transferred to the 60-day injured list to create space on the 40-man roster. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported last week that the Phillies and Miller, an ISE Baseball client, were in talks on a one-year deal in the $3MM range.
Miller, who is returning to the Phils after a year with the Cardinals, makes for a sensible upgrade for a thin bench. With Didi Gregorius back in the fold and Jean Segura expected to serve as the everyday option at second base, the 31-year-old Miller will join versatile Scott Kingery in backing up at a number of positions around the diamond. He probably won’t get much reserve time at shortstop and won’t see action in center — both spots Kingery can handle — but Miller could see time at second base, first base, third base and in the outfield corners.
Prior to re-signing Miller, the Phillies would’ve lacked infield depth on days that Kingery was roaming the outfield. Philadelphia 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 is in Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, but a couple of injuries could have left the Phillies reliant on a thin farm system that lacks MLB-ready infield talent.
Miller isn’t the plus 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 1200 at second base and more than 600 at first base as well. He’s also logged 3000-plus innings at shortstop, so while he’s only their third- or fourth-best defensive option there, he can certainly handle the position in a pinch.
The Phillies, by all indications, are angling to stay beneath the $210MM luxury tax threshold, though adding Miller on a reasonable deal doesn’t really jeopardize that goal. Assuming that roughly $3MM price point proves correct, the Miller signing will push them to just under $202MM in luxury obligations, per Jason Martinez of Roster Resource.
That leaves the club with a bit of room for some in-season maneuvering, although if either of Brandon Kintzler or Tony Watson makes the club’s roster, that figure will climb further north. Both veteran relievers agreed to minor league deals that contain $3MM base salaries upon making the MLB roster. The Phillies formally announced Watson’s deal, which was reported earlier this morning, alongside their announcement of the Miller deal.
I will definitely miss him with the Cards. I wanted the Cardinals to re-sign Miller and Wieters. He played very well for us. Although, I like that he is returning to a former club that he played.
They aren’t really interested in making the team better this year. The Arenado trade was a cash-neutral move that happened to work out now for timing reasons and was made for the future (they’re REALLY hoping he won’t opt out). It makes them better in 2021, but if they were really interested in putting the best team on the field they would have kept at least one of Wong/Miller and signed another starter.* I think the only reason they brought Yadi and Waino back was to avoid a fan uprising. I am expecting some money to spent next year, though.
*I guess they could still end up with Odorozzi but it doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen.
I disagree. You don’t trade for a guy like Arenado if you don’t plan on competing and trying to put the best possible team on the field. We both probably agree that the cards could do more to put out the best possible team, but for the cards, this is a “win-now” offseason. Not to mention, Goldy isn’t getting any younger.
I don’t think this is a good reading of the situation. The Cardinals traded for Arenado and resigned two franchise stalwarts and you’re turning this into “they’re not interested in making the team better?”
Brad Miller plays poor defense, the DH is presumably not coming back, and he went virtually 0 for September after that amazing game on the first of the month.
There’s zero chance they make the Arenado move if they have to pay his salary in 2021, and they haven’t done anything else to add to the team (Yadi and Waino are coming back from last year for less money, Wong’s gone, Miller’s gone). We’ve all had 2022 as the season where they reload after a ton of money comes off the books and they haven’t done anything to suggest that time-line has been moved up. The Arenado deal was a shrewd move to take advantage of Colorado’s situation.
They had the franchise stalwarts last season so keeping them doesn’t improve the team.
Arenado undeniably improves the team but my point is that the move was made now (as opposed to last year or next year) because of a confluence of circumstances, not because of organizational commitment to “win now” in 2021. I think they’re eying 2022 as when they’ll start trying to compete with the NL elite. In 2021 they’re just going to benefit from being in a terrible division.
They don’t need Miller becayse they have Carpenter as their lefty infielder with pop. They are trying to win
Is this 2018?
I’m kind of surprised Wieters hasn’t signed anywhere yet. Like Robinson Chirinos he’ll likely have to take a minor league contract but a team like the Rockies that have an ugly Catcher situation, or the Marlins who could use a veteran mentor for Alfaro could certainly use him
I think he was one of the most underrated FA’s this winter behind Tommy LaStella. He’s had a 124 wRC+ the last 2 seasons and plays all over the field.
I would consider platooning him with Cutch in left. Bamboo Brad crushes righties.
They forgot about saying kingery is only playing the infield because Herrera is making the roster
Herrera is no guarantee to make the roster. He got an invite to camp. Big difference.
10M says he makes the roster. MLB is pathetic when it comes to DV. Should be a contract voider.
He deserves a chance and the DV details were sketchy at best. The only thing pathetic is your post
No, I guess not, but the cryptic way that Dombrowski has been talking about Goofy still seems like something is going on…since he wasn’t invited to ML camp although they said he could still play in some exhibition games,..who knows!
If any player was motivated to excel, it is him..a strong showing could force their hand one way or another..He gets $10m no matter what, so they might as well use him..Just how I feel
Just to be clear for those of you who haven’t read my stuff, I mean no disrespect to Odubel by calling him Goofy..I do that because of the style of his play..I actually like his game.. While domestic violence is a disgusting thing, he has done everything MLB has asked of him and also the Phillies…I just feel he should be given a chance to redeem himself..it looks like D D is looking for some avenue to address it without just flushing him down the drain…
I have a suspicion they are showcasing him for other teams to try and deal that contract. Most of the odubel haters on Twitter aren’t smart enough to realize that.
Yes, Von, but Odubel is the best hitter among the CF candidates. Haseley needs at least 350 at bats vs. AAA pitching. Kingery? Dunno. Seems like an expensive utility type player.
Don’t like what Odubel did. Hope he has his head screwed on straight and can make a comeback. There’s a .280 20 HR season waiting to happen if he is in shape and focused.
I remember he hit 2 hrs off Max. I forgot if we won or lost that game
This will go down as the greatest MLB signing of all time.
Lol. It really won’t. Phillies had Miller in 2019. Love the dude, but he wasn’t the answer. Definitely helps though.
Baseballpun, I have to respectfully disagree that the Birds are not trying to win this year. Getting one of the 2 or 3 best 3rd basemen in baseball, resigning both Molina & Carpenter and moving Fowler (while eating most of his salary) would suggest otherwise. I think there’s at least a 50% chance that they sign Odorizzi. He’s a local boy & his options with other suiters are diminishing – probably a 1 or 2 year deal.
It’s not like they’re tearing it down, I just don’t think they’re trying to get better this year. They’re rolling with what they have. I acknowledge obviously that Arenado is a big move, but I put my take on that in a couple other comments.
Shocked he got a $3.5m MLB deal. I must be nuts because I’d rather have Brock Holt who had to take a Rangers’ invite.
I liked watching Miller in Seattle. I think he’s a solid bench super utility kinda guy.
Salary seems high, but I like him. He’s a good fit.
That’s a nice signing at that price. Over the past two years, he’s had a 4.4 bWAR/650, and can play a lot of positions.
Miller reminds me a bit of Corey Dickerson in how they both put up extremely solid offensive numbers almost every year, yet always seem to bounce around from team to team. Perhaps in Miller’s case it’s due to his lack of quality defense, but I still really like him as an offense-first utility player.
I loved Dickerson in his short stint in Philly. He did well with the Marlins too. Good comparison although Dickerson is a definite starter while Miller is a super sub.
Does Brad Miller make the Phillies better?
I would say yes… if you look at who would have his spot otherwise. I think Miller makes the Phillies better than the options we had without him.
Yes. Versatile defender, definite pop, fantastic dude in the clubhouse. Teams need guys like him.
Cap & Crunch
Phillies have to be thrilled today on their offseason compared to what people thought it was going to be
DD but all the wheels in motion, kudos to him and ownership for pulling thats string
They got the talent/pitching to give anyone a problem in a 7 game series, making it thru 162 might be the harder part
Nice to see D D making so many moves to improve the Phillies, thats all I asked for to move on from Klentaks inexperience.
Kingery has alot to prove because I still havent seen much.He needs to have a big year, no excuses!
So many topics I could hit on but this year will be refreshing with all the new faces, just don’t drink the water in Philadelphia, it seems to cause more injuries than any other city in all the major sports teams.
It’s MILLER TIME in Philadelphia !!
Does this mean a change to the beer sold at the stadium?
This roster is shaping up! Wonder if they will carry him and Joyce, plus Quinn. If so they will have to carry one less reliever but I have a feeling VV is being converted to a full-time reliever. It will be interesting to see what his role is.