The Reds’ search for starting pitching help has resulted in deals with Frankie Montas and Nick Martinez, while the team has been linked to several other pitchers who either remain available (in trades or in free agency) or have since landed elsewhere. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports that one of those now-signed pitching targets included Wade Miley, as Cincinnati had some talks with the veteran left-hander before Miley re-signed with the Brewers.
There’s plenty of familiarity between the two sides, as Miley pitched for the Reds in 2020-21 and posted a 3.55 ERA over 177 1/3 innings. The Reds held a $10MM club option on his services for 2022, yet as part of a payroll cutback, Cincinnati put Miley on waivers (where he was quickly claimed by the Cubs) in order to part ways without even paying the $1MM buyout on that option. Miley has since posted a 3.15 ERA in 157 1/3 innings with Chicago and Milwaukee since the start of the 2022 campaign, though injuries again limited his availability.
Miley received $8.5MM in guaranteed money in his one-year deal with the Brewers, and the Reds went beyond that price range in their one-year, $16MM deal with Montas. With $106.2MM spent so far this winter, Cincinnati has been one of the offseason’s busier teams in free agency, and it seems possible the Reds might not be done with their efforts to bolster the pitching staff.
More from around the National League…
- The Mets have added several relievers this offseason, including Jorge Lopez, Michael Tonkin, Austin Adams, and a spate of pitchers signed to minor league contracts. However, “a more robust signing for the bullpen shouldn’t be ruled out,” The Athletic’s Will Sammon writes, after the Mets address some more pressing needs. Those hoping for a reunion between Josh Hader and David Stearns in Queens may be out of luck since New York isn’t expected to pursue any long-term deals until at least next offseason, yet the Mets could still look to add a prominent reliever without necessarily shopping at the very top of the free agent market.
- In other Mets news, Sammon writes that Starling Marte may play some winter ball in his native Dominican Republic this month, as the outfielder is looking to get back to full fitness after an injury-plagued pair of seasons. Marte battled through leg and groin injuries in 2022 and underwent surgery on both groins following that season, then hit only .248/.301/.324 over 341 plate appearances and 86 games in 2023. In addition to some lingering after-effects from his groin surgery, Marte also missed time due to a neck strain, migraines, and then another groin strain that brought his season to a close on August 7. Marte is therefore a question mark as he heads into his age-35 season, and the Mets’ recent acquisition of Tyrone Taylor might not be the last outfield add the club makes, Sammon observes.
- Janson Junk has started seven of his nine career MLB games and 86 of his 112 career minor league appearances, but Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders if Junk’s future might ultimately be as a relief pitcher. In the second of his two Major League appearances with the Brewers last season, Hogg noted that Junk’s fastball twice hit 96mph on the radar gun, a significant step beyond his 92.1mph fastball velocity in Triple-A. If this extra velo is sustainable in a more limited relief capacity, Junk’s fastball suddenly become a more dangerous pitch, perhaps making him an interesting bullpen candidate since he can pair that upgraded heater with a solid curveball. Teams usually don’t look to transition starting pitchers to relief work unless circumstances or performance demands because rotation depth is so valuable, yet should Junk (who has a 4.07 ERA and middling secondary metrics over 495 1/3 career minor league innings) get some looks as a reliever, it might help him more firmly find a niche in the majors.