The Reds largely sat out the move making at last week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego, but according to reports, it looks like they’ve started the new week doing a thing.
Free-agent left-hander Wade Miley in agreement with #Reds on two-year, $15M contract, pending physical, sources tell The Athletic. Deal will reunite him with his former pitching coach in Milwaukee, Derek Johnson.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 17, 2019
Wade Miley, 33, spent all of last season with the spin factory out in Houston. He pitched 167.1 innings last season for the Astros, good for a 3.98 ERA (116 ERA+) over 33 starts. Maybe more importantly to the Reds and for Reds fans, Miley spent the 2018 season in Milwaukee, where he pitched 80.2 innings over 16 starts of 2.57 ERA baseball. That’s applicable, of course, because the pitching coach for the Brewers in 2018 was Derek Johnson, who is the current pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds.
Miley carried a 3.06 ERA into September in 2019 before several disastrous starts raised that all the way to nearly four. He only managed 11.1 IP in September across five starts, allowing 21 earned runs in that time frame, which is obviously a huge yikes.
Still, the $7.5 million dollar commitment over two years hardly breaks the bank, and if Derek Johnson sees something that he can replicate in Miley from 2018, I’m inclined to trust him on it. The money outlay still allows for the Reds to make another significant move this offseason (should they find one they deem worth making), and it also gives them room to work with their starting rotation with regards to the trade market.
This move, should things stay the way they are now, seems to leave Tyler Mahle as the odd man out to begin the 2020 season, as he still has an option remaining. However, both Anthony DeSclafani and Trevor Bauer are set to be free agents after the end of this next season, so the signing backfills the rotation a bit on that front.