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Reds sign Wade Miley to 2-year deal

@m_sheldon
December 18, 2019

CINCINNATI – When the Reds sought to overhaul their rotation during the previous winter, veteran left-handed starting pitcher Wade Miley was on their radar. This winter, as they try to fine-tune a now solid starting five, Cincinnati was able to land Miley. Miley and the Reds agreed to a two-year,

CINCINNATI – When the Reds sought to overhaul their rotation during the previous winter, veteran left-handed starting pitcher Wade Miley was on their radar. This winter, as they try to fine-tune a now solid starting five, Cincinnati was able to land Miley.

Miley and the Reds agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with a $10 million club option for 2022 that carries a $1 million buyout, the team announced on Wednesday. He will earn $6 million in '20 and $8 million in ’21 with an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses based on innings pitched. Miley will wear No. 22 with the Reds.

Miley, 33, spent the 2019 season with the Astros and went 14-6 with a 3.98 ERA in 33 starts and 167 1/3 innings. A would-be superlative season cratered in the second half, however. After being third in ERA among American League starters going into August – and having a 2.99 ERA through Aug. 9 – he posted an 8.69 ERA over his final nine starts that included three in which he lasted an inning or less.

Houston left Miley off its postseason roster during its run to the World Series.

With Cincinnati, Miley will be reunited with Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson, who proved to be a key factor in Miley choosing his new team among the believed three or four other suitors.

When the pair worked together with the Brewers in 2018, Miley was 5-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 16 starts. He had signed a Minor League deal with Milwaukee before that season and missed time with groin and oblique injuries. The Brewers were 12-4 when he pitched, and he had a 1.23 ERA in four postseason starts.

Miley signed a one-year, $4.25 million contract with the Astros on Feb. 1. By then, the Reds had already acquired three starters via trades – including Sonny Gray. Heading into the 2020 season, they will have Gray, Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani and Miley forming their rotation.

Cincinnati’s rotation was ranked near the top of the National League in several categories for a large portion of last season before finishing fifth with a 4.12 ERA.

Following a sixth-straight losing season and a 75-87 record to finish fourth in the NL Central, the Reds set their sights on immediate contention. With an enhanced payroll, they signed new second baseman Mike Moustakas to a four-year, $64 million contract on Dec. 5 – a franchise-record contract for a free agent. Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams and general manager Nick Krall also pursued starting pitcher Zack Wheeler and shortstop Didi Gregorius before they both went to the Phillies, and catcher Yasmani Grandal joined the White Sox.

With Moustakas and Miley in the fold, the next move for Williams and Krall will likely be for more offensive upgrades – probably in the outfield. The club also seeks bullpen additions.

Miley has also previously pitched for Arizona, Boston, Seattle and Baltimore. Overall in his nine seasons, he is 85-82 with a 4.23 ERA.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.