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Shelby Miller, Rangers agree to 1-year deal

Right-hander expected to compete for rotation spot in '19
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers continue to add reclamation projects to their pitching staff as they agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent right-hander Shelby Miller. The deal is for $2 million plus another $3 million in incentives, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

The club also announced that right-hander Jeanmar Gomez and outfielder Danny Santana have agreed to Minor League deals.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers continue to add reclamation projects to their pitching staff as they agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent right-hander Shelby Miller. The deal is for $2 million plus another $3 million in incentives, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

The club also announced that right-hander Jeanmar Gomez and outfielder Danny Santana have agreed to Minor League deals.

Miller, who is from Brownwood, Texas, was 0-4 with a 10.69 ERA in four starts and one relief appearance for the D-backs last season after returning from Tommy John surgery. His last start was on July 11 before going on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. He made one relief appearance at the end of the season.

Miller will compete for a spot in a rotation that has two other candidates in right-hander Edinson Volquez and left-hander Drew Smyly who are coming back from Tommy John surgery. Including Lance Lynn, four of the five most experienced candidates for the Rangers' rotation have undergone Tommy John surgery in the past four years.

Video: Justice on Miller signing one-year deal with Rangers

"We see this as a chance to add a relatively young, power pitcher to the staff," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Healthy now after rehabbing last year, we think Shelby has more in the tank, and are excited to see him work with our staff this year."

Left-hander Mike Minor and Lynn are the top two pitchers in the rotation. Minor missed all of 2015-16 while recovering from surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder, while Lynn missed all of 2016 because of Tommy John surgery. Both have been healthy the past two years.

Miller, 28, was non-tendered by the D-backs and he can be a free agent after the upcoming season. When he is healthy, Miller throws a 94-mph fastball with a good curveball.

Miller was the 19th overall pick by the Cardinals in the 2009 MLB Draft out of Brownwood High. That was the the same year the Rangers took left-hander Matt Purke with the 14th overall pick out of Houston Klein, but they could not sign him.

Tweet from @ShelbyMiller19: Thrilled to officially join the @rangers and return to my home state of Texas! Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout. Can���t wait to get started 🙌 pic.twitter.com/U2eZTtCbRj

Miller was 15-9 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 31 starts for the Cardinals in 2013 and 10-9 with a 3.74 ERA in 32 games the following year. But his career started to change beginning with a tough-luck 2015 season after being traded to the Braves on Nov. 17, 2014.

Miller was 5-5 with a 2.38 ERA in his first 18 starts for the Braves in 2015 and he was named to the National League All-Star team. But he went 1-12 with a 3.83 ERA in 15 starts in the second half while suffering from a lack of run support. The Braves scored just 2.6 runs per nine innings that season when Miller was on the mound.

Atlanta traded him to the D-backs after the season. In three years with Arizona, Miller was 5-18 with a 6.35 ERA in 28 starts and one relief appearance while dealing with multiple injuries. He underwent Tommy John surgery on May 10, 2017.

Gomez, 30, is a nine-year veteran reliever who has pitched for the Indians, Pirates, Phillies and White Sox. He was the Phillies' closer in 2016, and he logged a career-high 37 saves. Gomez had a 7.66 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP in 18 games in 2017 before being released on June 23. He signed Minor League contracts with both the Brewers and the Mariners after leaving Philadelphia, but Gomez was not promoted to the big leagues by either club.

Gomez signed with the White Sox last offseason and he pitched in 26 games with the club, going 0-2 with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. The native of Venezuela, who relies mainly on a sinker/slider combination, will go into Spring Training and compete for a spot in a bullpen that is wide open.

Santana, 28, is a switch-hitter who has played both the outfield and the infield in a five-year Major League career with the Twins and the Braves. He has a career batting average of .256 with a .292 on-base percentage and a .375 slugging percentage over 364 games.

Santana played in 15 games with the Braves in 2018, but he spent most of last season at Triple A Gwinnett, hitting .264 with 16 home runs and 40 RBIs in 82 games. He played in 14 games at second base and spent the rest of the time in the outfield.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Shelby Miller