Playing Matchmaker – Andrew Miller and the Mets are perfect for one another
The Mets have an opportunity to sign a man who had a 2.22 ERA in 125.2 innings with the Yankees. Injuries aside, it would be a wise move for the team.
It goes without saying that this offseason is the most important one for the Mets in quite some time. With new GM Brodie Van Wagenen leading the charge, there are a lot of expectations for this team, more so than usual.
While hitting is important it is the bullpen, who ranked third worst in the league with a 4.96 ERA and -0.6 WAR, that needs the most improvement. With Jeurys Familia and Hansel Robles gone, Jerry Blevins a free agent and questions surrounding the durability of both Paul Sewald and Jacob Rhame, the Mets need a dominant reliever with consistent control.
Enter Andrew Miller.
Source: #Mets have interest in free agent reliever Andrew Miller, who had a close relationship with Mickey Callaway as the Cleveland pitching coach. (Credit to @Joelsherman1 for linking Miller and the Mets earlier this week.) @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 7, 2018
In 10+ years in the majors, Miller has accumulated a 49-48 record with a 3.98 ERA. He has struck out 853 batters, the majority of those punch outs being accomplished the past five years alone. The two-time All-Star spent two+ years in Cleveland after being traded by the Yankees in 2016. During that time he had a 2.22 ERA in 125.2 innings. He also struck out 13.3 batters (186 total) and walked 39. One of the best relievers in the game, the Mets should have no issues going after the 33-year-old lefty.
Yankees fans can also attest that when it comes to relievers you can rely on, Miller is the guy. After all, he did have a 1.77 ERA in about two seasons in the Bronx.
Is there a feeling of more risk than reward when it comes to Miller? That appears to be the case, especially considering the injuries he has had to overcome. This past season he had a 4.24 ERA in only 34 innings, going 2-4. Miller dealt with a hamstring injury to begin the season, continued knee issues and an impingement in his left shoulder. There is a running joke that the Mets only go after injury prone players, but in Miller’s case, this has just recently become a cause for concern.
Do we trust the word of his agent Mark Rodgers when he stated in a New York Post interview that the “old Andrew Miller” was back and better than ever? It is hard to say, but in this case, the Mets have the advantage. There are a number of teams who would love to sign Miller, from the Cardinals to the Braves. The Mets, with New York doctors and a familiar atmosphere, should feel more at home to Miller.
Having someone like Mickey Callaway, who was with the Indians as a pitching coach from 2013-2017, is also a factor that can lead the Mets in the arms race. Knowing Brodie’s experience on working deals, he can put the Mets in the driver’s seat.
From 2014-2017, Miller produced around a 2.04 ERA each season. While Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo and Anthony Swarzak have an opportunity to be a reliable reliever for the Mets, having an elite reliever like Miller would not hurt the confidence of a young team looking to become a true force in an open NL East.
Prediction – Miller takes the bait and accepts a two-year, $25 million deal with the Mets.
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