Reports: Texas Rangers Sign Former All-Star Pitcher Shelby Miller
By Kenneth Nash
The Texas Rangers continue to add to their rotation adding veteran right-hander Shelby Miller to a 1-year deal per reports.
First reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Texas Rangers are in agreement with free agent starter Shelby Miller on a 1-year contract. Miller, 28, becomes the 2nd notable starter to be signed by the Rangers this offseason after the club inked Lance Lynn to a 3-year deal during the Winter Meetings.
The veteran right-hander is coming off injury-shortened seasons in 2017 and 2018 after having Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. Miller coincidentally becomes the 4th starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers to have received Tommy John surgery since 2015 according to Evan Grant at the Dallas Morning News.
Miller’s last full season in a rotation was back in 2015 when he made a career-high 33 starts for the Atlanta Braves. An All-Star that season, Miller posted a 3.02 ERA in just over 200 innings and had a walk rate under 3.5 per 9 innings.
He did get some work in 2018 starting 4 games for the Diamondbacks in 5 total appearances. He threw a small sample size of 16 innings and his ERA isn’t the most welcomed sight, he was able to strike out 19 in that short amount of time.
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A Houston native and Brownwood High School graduate, Miller now has an opportunity to return to his home state on a 1-year deal worth reportedly $2 million with incentives that could see the deal climb all the way to $5 million according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Why Did Texas Make This Deal
Despite the recent problems with major injuries, all signs point to Shelby Miller being fully healthy and ready to return to a Major League rotation full time. At only 28, he still has a number of years ahead of him in his career if he can stay healthy.
Texas likely sees this as a trial run for Miller. He has experience and the last time he was fully healthy, albeit 3 years ago, he was a top starter in the game. He’s extremely cheap and if he pitches well, the Rangers now get a full season of recruiting him to be a long-term piece of the franchise. If he pitches well but isn’t interested in signing long-term, he makes an attractive trade piece to fringe contenders this upcoming summer who might be desperate to add that one final arm. And then of course, on the chance that he just can’t get back to his former ways, Texas has very little money or time committed to this deal and they can look elsewhere come the end of the season.
This deal is the definition of a win-win for the Rangers as it adds some legitimate potential while not forcing their hand further down the road.