The Milwaukee Brewers may be about to bolster their starting rotation by re-adding a piece that just got subtracted from it.
The Brewers and free agent starter Wade Miley have apparently been working toward a deal for next season according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic (subscription required). The possibility was later confirmed by Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
Miley had been signed to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2024 prior to last season. The contract option was for $10MM with a $1MM buyout, but before the Brewers could decide whether they wanted to exercise their half of the pricey option, Miley declined his end of it, making him a free agent.
With a need in the starting rotation, the Brewers are reportedly eyeing a reunion with lefty Wade Miley.
Miley would be returning for a third stint with Milwaukee should he sign. His first was in 2018 when he started 16 games and went 5-2 with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.215 WHIP. Many fans remember him for his moment in the NLCS against the Dodgers when he was used to pitch to one batter before being lifted for fellow starter Brandon Woodruff, befuddling the announcers on tv.
After stops in Houston, Cincinnati, and Chicago (with the Cubs), Miley was brought back last season to reinforce the rotation. And while parts of the team's big 3 of Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta dealt with some small struggles or injuries, the 36-year-old Miley might have just been the most consistent starter on the team.
Miley would end up going 9-4 with a 3.14 ERA, 1.139 WHIP, and a career low 7.4 hits per nine innings. He would make 23 starts as he dealt with his own injuries that resulted in two stints on the injured list, but he stayed steady regardless, giving up three earned runs or fewer in 20 of his starts.
Strengthening the starting rotation will be a key priority for the first time in a while. Woodruff is now gone after being non-tendered following surgery that will cause him to miss most, if not all of the 2024 season. And trade rumors continue to swirl around Burnes, who is in his final year of team control by the Brewers.
That Miley is able to defy father time and pitch effectively is incredible. That he may continue to do so as a member of the Brewers should be a welcome thought for fans.