The Houston Astros have reportedly made a move to fill in a spot in their starting rotation by signing SP Wade Miley to deal that is supposed to be for one year and $4.5 million. Bob Nightengale with USA TODAY reported the financials while also indicating Miley passed his physical.
Wade Miley passed his physical so deal done w #Astros. He gets $4.5 million base and 500k in incentives
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 31, 2019
Houston Astros to Sign SP Wade Miley to One-Year Deal
What does this move mean?
This is a move that fills in a starting rotation that is set to headline Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and a returning Collin McHugh. What remains is one starting rotation spot, three pitchers fighting for the final rotation spot, and Dallas Keuchel still unsigned. The signing of Miley makes any talks with Keuchel a hot topic. If the blue and orange re-sign Keuchel, the five starters would already be decided and there would be no competition heading into the season.
For the Astros, this move brings an experienced arm to the rotation. Heading into his age-32 season, the southpaw is coming off a 5-2 record in 2018 with an ERA of just 2.57. 2018 would serve as the only season in which Miley had an ERA under 3.33 in his entire career.
In 2018, Miley was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers from the NL Central. During the that season, Miley would only pitch 80.2 innings, the third time in his career in which he threw less than 100 innings in one season. It would also mark the second time in the past two seasons in which that has occurred (He threw just 54 innings in 2016).
Miley’s career numbers include a 71-76 record with an ERA of 4.26. To go along with the 212 starts in 216 games, Miley has struck out 975 batters in 1,236.1 innings pitched.
The Astros are bringing someone in that can help with questions in the starting rotation heading into the 2019 season. A one-year rental until Astros prospects Forrest Whitley and Corbin Martin take their aim at the 2020 Opening Day Roster, Miley could be effective. However, this will only be if he can succeed in the American League.
Transition to the AL
This will be the first time since 2017 that Miley has been on an AL roster when he was a part of the Baltimore Orioles. In his career as an AL pitcher, his numbers have gone up. A 28-39 record to start, with an ERA of 5.10 and 293 earned runs out of his 310 total runs that he has given up during his time as a member of the AL, Miley comes in with more questions than answers.
With those numbers, though, Miley has also struck out 426 batters in three seasons as an AL pitcher (142 per year, 4.53 per game). In his time as an NL pitcher, Miley has recorded 549 strike outs in five seasons (109.8 per year, 4.5 per game).
Reaction to the move
This is a move that does not hurt or help the Astros more than the other. What would end up occurring with this signing would be more of a half-season rental. Houston would most likely trade him at the non-waiver deadline at the end of July for prospects. This trade would make roster space available to make the long-awaited promotion and MLB debut for Whitley.
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