The Texas Rangers and pitcher Shelby Miller agreed to a one-year contract on Wednesday. Miller will reportedly earn a $2 million salary with the potential for an added $3 million through performance bonuses, making the deal potentially worth $5 Million. Miller has pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Atlanta Braves, and the Arizona Diamondbacks over the course of his seven-year Major League career.
Miller recently ended a turbulent three-year stint with the Diamondbacks. Miller was non-tendered at the end of November after being sent to Arizona by the Atlanta Braves in a trade that took place in December of 2015. Over the course of three seasons, Miller made a minute 28 starts and posted a horrendous 6.35 ERA with 109 strikeouts and 62 walks over 139 brutal innings. Miller has struggled with injuries in his elbow over the past two seasons, this being the most likely cause of Miller’s ineptitude.
Miller underwent Tommy John surgery early in the 2017 season and missed a large majority of the 2018 season as a result of his elbow issues. Miller has pitched just 38 innings in the last two seasons and will likely have his pitch counts kept to a minimal amount until he gets more innings under his belt without elbow pain. The last thing the Rangers need right now is another injury.
Miller had his best season in the Major Leagues in 2015 when he was given his first and only All-Star nod. Miller finished with a 3.02 ERA in 33 starts, but curiously he also lead baseball with 17 losses. Wins and losses are becoming a less and less reliable stat, but it is still noteworthy.
“We see this as a chance to add a relatively young power pitcher to the staff,” Rangers 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.”
The Texas Rangers had an absolutely repugnant 2018 season, putting up a 67-95 record (good enough for last place in the top-heavy American League West division). The Rangers finished a shocking 36 games back of first place in 2018. texas finished being the most games behind a division leader in baseball with the exception of the Baltimore Orioles who were 61 games behind the first place World Champion Boston Red Sox. With Texas coming off of their worst season record-wise since 2014, many years of failure and ineptitude are in store, especially after the loss of future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre.
Miller now gives the Rangers a five-man pitching rotation consisting of Mike Minor, Drew Smyly, Lance Lynn, Edinson Volquez, and Miller himself. This will be the Rangers Opening Day rotation in the event that Mike Minor is not traded this offseason with multiple teams inquiring with the Rangers regarding the right-hander.
Miller will attempt to renew himself with the rebuilding Texas Rangers in 2019 after his recent struggles. Miller, assuming that he does well in Spring Training and makes to big league club, will eat up innings in the Rangers’ rotation while they suffer through another year at the bottom of the division.