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Cubs sign Shelby Miller to minor-league deal

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The Cubs continue to accumulate arms.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

If you recall me writing about the Cubs and Shelby Miller here previously, you’re not wrong.

Here’s an article from November 2015 where I proposed trading for Miller, then a member of the Atlanta Braves.

A year later, Miller was an Arizona Diamondback when I wrote this article again proposing a trade to the Cubs.

In November 2015, Miller had made 30+ starts in three consecutive seasons, posting a total of 9.3 bWAR. He was third in Rookie of the Year voting (2013) and made an All-Star team (2015).

Since then Miller has made a total of 36 starts for the Diamondbacks and Rangers, and you see him pictured as a Ranger above in 2019, where he posted an 8.59 ERA and 1.977 WHIP in 19 appearances (eight starts). Yikes. Overall since 2016 he has a 6.89 ERA and 1.749 WHIP, an ERA+ of 68 and -3.7 bWAR. He spent 2020 in the Brewers organization, but did not pitch in the abbreviated 60-game MLB season. Most of this poor performance is due to multiple injuries suffered over the years, including Tommy John surgery in 2017.

But he was once good enough to be traded for Jason Heyward (from the Cardinals to the Braves in November 2014) and the Diamondbacks sent Dansby Swanson (and others) to the Braves for him a year later.

Now, the Cubs are going to give him a shot:

Miller is 30, just about one year younger than Kyle Hendricks and about one year older than Alec Mills.

Is this dumpster-diving? Absolutely. Could it work? Sure, if Miller’s healthy. He was a first-round pick of the Cardinals (18th overall) in 2009, seven picks before the Angels selected Mike Trout. Whoops. Although, to be fair, 24 teams passed on Trout in that first round (the Cubs picked 31st — Brett Jackson).

If Miller can’t pitch and doesn’t make the team, no money will be spent. He’s worth a look, I’d say.


Shelby Miller!

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