Veteran Miller gives Rangers options with two-year deal
Culberson rejoins Texas on Minor League contract
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers once again added to their depth across the diamond, agreeing to a two-year Major League deal with infielder Brad Miller, the club announced on Thursday.
Miller -- who was a 39th-round pick by the Rangers in the 2008 MLB Draft before opting to play for Clemson -- spent 2021 with the Phillies, slashing .227/.321/.453 with a .774 OPS across 140 games. He’s played for six clubs during his nine-year MLB career.
Miller adds both another utilityman and a solid bat to the Rangers' lineup. He has experience at every infield and outfield position, though the bulk of his games (378) have come at shortstop. He is a notable addition because of the Rangers’ need at third base and outfield, especially in more of a platoon role.
In particular, the Rangers need a temporary solution at third base until top hitting prospect Josh Jung returns from injury to take over.
Miller has played just 49 career games at third base and just eight there with the Phillies in 2021, but a platoon with Andy Ibañez at the hot corner or even in right field alongside Nick Solak may be the perfect opportunity for the Rangers.
Here’s how their splits played out in 2021:
Ibáñez (76 games):
- vs. lefties: .344/.371/.527 (.898 OPS)
- vs. righties: .238/.293/.381 (.674 OPS)
Nick Solak (127 games):
- vs. lefties: .266/.354/.374 (.729 OPS)
- vs. righties: .232/.296/.357 (.654 OPS)
Miller (140 games):
- vs. lefties: .169/.200/.338 (.538 OPS)
- vs. righties: .244/.354/.488 (.842 OPS)
Manager Chris Woodward said the Rangers would use platoon advantages if they’re available. This is that available opportunity.
“As we looked into signing guys and trying to figure out the best roadmap to a winning lineup, obviously we have some guys that can cover both right and left,” Woodward said. “But we also have a few that actually punished one side or the other. If you can match those two up, obviously, there's teams in the league that do really well. It's pretty impactful, especially if they're versatile, they can kind of move around a little bit.”
Woodward added that Miller is more likely to get outfield reps, but third base isn’t completely out of the question.
Rangers re-sign Culberson on Minors deal
Texas added another depth piece by re-signing infielder Charlie Culberson to a Minor League deal. Culberson also had a Minors deal in 2021, but made the Rangers’ Opening Day roster out of camp.
Like Miller, Culberson would mainly be used in a platoon role, as he had a .346/.376/.556 line against lefties in 2021. Woodward has always spoken very highly of Culberson as a clubhouse guy who could also add additional leadership with his veteran presence in the clubhouse.