Thursday, December 23, 2004

Wade Miller Signs with the Sox

The Red Sox signed Wade Miller to a one year contract worth 1.5 million, in which he can earn up to 4.5 million in incentives. Miller was non-tendered by the Astros, which made him a free agent and allowed him to sign with any team. This is the same exact way the Red Sox signed David Ortiz in the winter of 2002. Ortiz was non-tendered by the Twins, and the Red Sox signed him to a one year 1.25 million deal. If that signing isn't the perfect example of getting, "the most bang for your buck" I don't know what is. In 2003, Ortiz hit .288, had 31 homers, and drove in 101 runs, all for the cost of 1.25 million. Red Sox fans can only hope Miller turns out to be half as good as that Ortiz deal was.

There were at least 8 clubs that were talking to Miller when he became a free agent. Bob Garber who is Miller's agent said in an espn article,
"The Red Sox were right on it from the beginning," Garber said. "They flew him to town and made him feel welcome. That's what Theo Epstein does. He makes players feel wanted, and they want to come here."

Theo was not the only person of the Red Sox organization who thought the deal was a good signing. Curt Schillng posted on SOSH his opinions of signing Miller before the Sox signed him,

"Wade Miller would be a good sign IMO. In addition to being a serious competitor he knows how to pitch. Given the dynamics of the staff that handles players here this would be a very different situation for him to be in. Alot less pressure and alot more attention. Look at what the training staff did for Pedro this past season. They got him to the post, along with his hard work for every start. I love the thought of this guy coming here and being able to come back as he can. He can pitch and he can win. Put him in front of this offense and it could be a steal. Bringing guys this good here in this kind of situation seems to me to be a win win given that he'll most likely sign a deal that's incentive laden. I think it's a great move. Considering the staff that's being assembled in NY this year is gonna be another huge challenge and pitching once again IMO will carry the day when it all comes down to it."

The only problem with Miller is that he was hurt last year and only started 15 games. He suffered a frayed rotator cuff in June, and he did not return after that. If Miller is healthy by opening day, and pitches they way he has in the past, this signing will be an absolute steal. There is a risk in signing a guy like Miller, because you never know how he is going to come back after his injury. The worst thing that can happen for the Sox, is that Miller comes back and cannot pitch they way he used to. The great thing about that is it only cost the Sox 1.5 million dollars if that happens. The reward is that he returns to his 2002 form when he went 15-4 with a 3.28 ERA. Red Sox fans around the world are hoping that Miller can repeat that 2002 performance. I'm very excited that the Sox signed Miller and I think he will be a great addition to the Red Sox staff.

Matt

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