The Cardinals have contacted a free agent Shelby miller on a possible meeting, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link). St. Louis is looking to add depth to Triple-A Memphis, according to Goold. It’s not a given that a deal will be made, as Goold adds that the Cardinals believe at least one other team is interested in the right-hander.
Miller began his career with the Cardinals as a first-round draft pick in 2009. He made his entry into the majors at age 21 in 2012 and enjoyed quite a bit of success in St. Louis. Miller worked a 3.33 ERA in 370 innings with the Cards, earning a third-place finish in the NL Rookie of the Year vote in 2013. The Cardinals traded him to Atlanta after the 2014 season.
Miller’s career has been derailed in recent years, thanks to a combination of injuries and underperformance. He only managed an 8.59 / 6.27 SIERA ERA in 44 innings with the 2019 Rangers. Miller retired from the 2020 season before signing a minor league deal with the Cubs last winter . Selected from the major league roster in April, he pitched two relief innings for Chicago, allowing seven runs on as many hits with five walks. The Cubs nominated Miller for an assignment late last month and released him shortly after allowing the waivers.
Despite these difficulties, there would be little downside to the Cardinals or any club to add Miller to a minor league deal. It could offer depth either for rotation or for the group of long landforms. Miller impressed more than 10 1/3 frames with Cubs affiliate Triple-A in Iowa earlier this season, allowing two earned runs with 15 strikeouts and six walks. He also averaged 93.5 MPH on his four-seam fastball during his brief MLB time, suggesting his arm strength hasn’t gone away despite his recent spate of injuries.