The New York Yankees have struck for the second time today, reportedly inking reliever Andrew Miller to a four-year, $36 million deal.
Andrew Miller has agreed to a 4-year, $36 million deal with the Yankees, according to source involved in negotiations.
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) December 5, 2014
New York’s signing of the 29-year Miller is a coup for the club, mostly because they’re taking him away from the reigning AL East champion Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles acquired Miller at the trade deadline this July from the Red Sox, and he was dominant between the two clubs. For the year, he struck out 103 and walked just 17 in 62 1/3 innings, pitching to a 2.02 ERA in the process. In 20 innings with Baltimore, Miller struck out 34, walked four, and allowed just three runs in 20 innings. Needless to say, that’s pretty good.
Despite being a left-hander, Miller is dominant against both righties and lefties at the plate. Left-handers hit just .161/.206/.261 against him in 2014, while right-handers were just as lifeless, hitting .142/.245/.202.
There’s still some risk here for New York. Miller missed the entire second half of the 2013 season following foot surgery. He missed the first month of 2012 after a hamstring strain. In 2009, an oblique strain cost him nearly a month. Patellar tendinitis sidelined Miller for a month and a half in 2008. Injuries seem to follow him, and 2014 was his first healthy year since 2010 when he was still a Marlin.
I’m still curious as to whether or not New York would be interested in bringing back David Robertson following Miller’s signing. Even though he was tendered a qualifying offer, Robertson will likely command a contract worth more than Miller’s, either from the Yankees or a team that would need to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. If Robertson does sign elsewhere, at least New York is covered with a dominant bullpen arm, though they’d still have some work to do building around Miller and Dellin Betances. But if they’re able to re-sign Robertson? Man, that’s one hell of a back-end of their bullpen.