The Cardinals have reached out to free agent Shelby Miller about a potential reunion, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link). St. Louis is looking to add depth at Triple-A Memphis, per Goold. It’s not a foregone conclusion a deal will get done, though, as Goold adds the Cardinals believe at least other team is interested in the right-hander.
Miller began his career with the Cardinals as a first-round draft pick in 2009. He broke into the majors as a 21-year-old in 2012 and found quite a bit of success in St. Louis. Miller worked to a 3.33 ERA across 370 innings with the Cards, earning a third place finish in NL Rookie of the Year Award voting in 2013. The Cardinals traded him to Atlanta after the 2014 season.
Miller’s career has gone off track over the past few years, thanks to a combination of injuries and underperformance. He only managed an 8.59 ERA/6.27 SIERA in 44 innings with the 2019 Rangers. Miller opted out of the 2020 season before signing a minor league deal with the Cubs this past winter. Selected to the big league roster in April, he pitched two innings of relief for Chicago, allowing seven runs on as many hits with five walks. The Cubs designated Miller for assignment late last month and released him shortly after he cleared waivers.
In spite of those struggles, there’d be little downside for the Cardinals or any other club in adding Miller on a minor league deal. He could offer depth for either the rotation or the long relief group. Miller impressed over 10 1/3 frames with the Cubs Triple-A affiliate in Iowa earlier this season, allowing two earned runs with 15 strikeouts and six walks. He also averaged a decent 93.5 MPH on his four-seam fastball in his brief MLB time, suggesting his arm strength hasn’t disappeared despite his recent series of injuries.