The Pirates have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Shelby Miller, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (Twitter link). Miller will be assigned to Triple-A after completing COVID-19 protocols.
Miller was designated for assignment and then released by the Cubs in May, as he was rocked for seven runs over two innings pitched for Chicago. These two rough innings represent the only MLB action for Miller in the last two seasons, as he opted out of the 2020 campaign. He was also a member of the Brewers organization in 2019-20, so Pittsburgh represents the fourth different NL Central team of Miller’s career.
Best known for his three-season heyday with the Cardinals and Braves from 2013-15, Miller has a 7.15 ERA in 185 innings since the start of the 2014 season, battling injuries (including a Tommy John surgery) and a lack of effectiveness. The Pirates will be the latest team to see if they can fix Miller, who is still only 30 years old.
The righty can provide the Bucs with some pitching depth, perhaps as a starter though Miller only had three abbreviated starts with Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate this season. At this point in Miller’s career, a turn to relief pitching might be advisable, though he didn’t fare well in relief duty with the Rangers in 2019.