Blue Jays Rumors: Andrew Miller on free agent radar


After an exceptional year out of the bullpens of both the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles, free agent Andrew Miller figures to draw the attention of just about every team in baseball. The Toronto Blue Jays don’t appear to be an exception to that rule.

According to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet (via Twitter), the Blue Jays met with Andrew Miller’s representatives on at some point this past week.

This is no surprise for the Blue Jays, as the team is badly in need of some shut-down options in their bullpen and Andrew Miller fills that role perfectly. By all means, Miller should have been an All-Star in 2014, pitching to a 2.02 ERA and a FIP of 1.51 over 62.1 innings of work, posting a 2.5 BB/9 ratio and a 14.9 K/9 mark. He was even better after the midseason trade to the Baltimore Orioles, where Miller put up a 1.35 ERA, 1.13 FIP, 1.8 BB/9, and a 15.3 K/9 mark.

The former first round pick of the Detroit Tigers washed out as a starter due to control issues,and bounced around the Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins (then Florida Marlins) organizations for the first five years of his career before the Red Sox plucked him off the scrap heap in 2011. After failing to try to correct his issues as a starter, Boston turned their attention to working Miller out of the bullpen where he could focus on throwing just his fastball and slider combo. The subsequent results over the three years in relief with Boston were outstanding.

The price on Andrew Miller doesn’t figure to be cheap. After the strong 2014, his agent will be playing the possible closer card, with Miller having shown that he can handle high-leverage situations. Additionally, at 29-years-old Miller doesn’t have the same level of mileage on his arm due to the years of trying to work on his perceived role. Oh, and did I mention that he’s left-handed, which always comes as a premium with every team needing lefty relief help.

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According to Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive (H/T MLB Trade Rumors), Miller is seeking a four-year deal that has a “astounding” average annual value. MLB Trade Rumors interprets that close to David Robertson‘s demands of close to “Papelbon Money”. Of couse, Robertson is demanding that on top of having the compensation pick attached to him, so Miller will definitely get more feelers for that price tag, but it is an awfully big gamble on a guy with no closing experience.

That’s not saying that a club won’t pay it, and won’t give him a shot at a closer role. What it means for the Blue Jays however is that while they checked in, they aren’t likely bringing Miller to the check-out counter either. Instead, Toronto will likely look for volume for their money and hope to either have an internal candidate for closer (Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup) or find a low-price option like the one we profiled yesterday in Burke Badenhop.

Still, what a different look Andrew Miller would provide than the recently departed Casey Janssen.