Cubs, Miller reach Minors deal (sources)

January 18th, 2021

CHICAGO -- With a clear need for pitching depth, the Cubs are taking on a reclamation project in right-hander .

On Sunday night, a source told's Mark Feinsand that the Cubs and Miller reached an agreement on a Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training. The deal is pending a physical and has not been confirmed by the team.

According to Feinsand, Miller would earn a base salary of $875,000 (with up to $600,000 in performance bonuses) if he is in the Majors in 2021.

As things currently stand, the Cubs have a trio of starters who are virtual locks for rotation spots in Kyle Hendricks, Zach Davies and Alec Mills. Adbert Alzolay is currently the leading candidate for one of the remaining vacancies, but the Cubs need to continue to build their inventory of options.

"We have to be creative in who we target and guys that maybe we go look at," Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said earlier this month. "Even bullpen guys that can give us multiple innings and can get stretched out -- other ways to bridge a little bit more with some long guys after a starter."

Given Miller's lack of consistent innings in recent seasons, his place in Chicago's pitching picture will be sorted out during Spring Training.

Miller was initially a part of the Brewers' 60-man player pool in 2020 on a Minor League deal, but opted out due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. That kept his Major League innings total at 183 overall dating back to 2016. He missed portions of the '17 and '18 campaigns due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

In 2019, Miller logged an 8.59 ERA in 44 innings (eight starts and 11 relief outings) for the Rangers, who released him that July. The right-hander then inked a Minor League deal with the Brewers, making eight Minor League starts before opting out of his contract, becoming a free agent and re-signing with Milwaukee in the offseason.

In parts of eight big league seasons, Miller has a 4.11 ERA in 150 games (132 starts) between stops with the Cardinals, Braves, D-backs and Rangers. He finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2013 and was an All-Star in '15, but has been unable to rediscover the same combination of health and production in the past five seasons.