As the offseason rolls along the Milwaukee Brewers next move in free agency could be to bring back Wade Miley for the 2019 season.
Two corresponding moves that Rosenthal hinted at would be trading either first baseman Eric Thames who is due $6 million in 2019 with a $1 million buy-out, or reliever Matt Albers who will earn $2.5 million next season.
Why bring Miley back?
The Milwaukee Brewers already appear to have a lot of potential options when it comes to their starting pitching but Miley will be able to provide a veteran presence in the rotation.
Other than Jhoulys Chacin this is a relatively young group of starting pitchers and having Miley’s years of big league experience in the rotation can be valuable.
In addition this a starting rotation that is desperately lacking a left-handed arm. When we consider the Milwaukee Brewers potential starters in 2019 it consists of Chacin, Freddy Peralta, Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Zach Davies, and Jimmy Nelson, all of which are righties.
As a whole, the Brewers organization lacks left-handed depth and if they hope to bolster the rotation this off season, adding a lefty will be a necessity.
Miley’s 2018 season
If we examine 2018 where Miley put together the best season of his career, he is an attractive option to add depth to the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff.
After overcoming some early season injuries, Miley pitched 80 2/3 innings during the regular season posting a 2.57 ERA and a WHIP of 1.21. In the playoffs Miley stayed hot throwing 14 2/3 innings with a 1.23 ERA.
On the mound Miley isn’t the type of pitcher that will over power hitters and record a ton of strikeouts. He relies on soft contact and ground ball outs by locating the ball low in the zone. This resulted in just three home runs hit off Miley last season.
If the Milwaukee Brewers do decide to bring back Miley for 2019 fans will need to lower their expectations.
A majority of Miley’s numbers in 2018 were far better than his career averages which include an ERA of 4.26 and a 1.388 WHIP. Opposing batters are also averaging a .751 OPS against Miley compared to the .636 OPS he posted last year.
When the Milwaukee Brewers decided to sign Miley last season it was a low risk contract that had a base salary of $2.5 million with an additional $3.2 million in incentives.
Given Miley’s performance he will most likely command more on the open market and GM David Stearns will have to be willing to pay the higher price if he intends on bringing him back.
There will be a number of positives for the Brewers if they make the decision to bring Miley back and he will add some value to the rotation. With that said, expectations will need to be tempered as well.