ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Cardinals have found their elite left-handed reliever: Andrew Miller has agreed to terms on a two-year deal with St. Louis, with a vesting option for 2021.
“One of our stated goals this offseason was to improve our bullpen,” said John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ president of baseball operations. “Andrew Miller is one of the premier relievers in the major league, and his addition certainly strengthens our bullpen.”
Terms were not disclosed in Friday’s announcement.
One of baseball’s best relievers when healthy, the 33-year-old Miller was a key reason the Cleveland Indians advanced to the World Series in 2016 and he was voted the MVP of the ALCS that year, striking out 14 batters in 7.2 innings. The two-time All-Star helped reset the role of reliever to some extent, used to target the opposing lineup instead of particular innings — and he has been strong in the playoffs (1.09 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 33 innings over the past five years).
The 13-year MLB veteran struggled with nagging injuries last season, including three trips to the disabled list. A sore shoulder, a hamstring issue and inflammation in his right knee limited him to a 2-4 record with a 4.24 ERA in 37 regular-season games for Cleveland.
He made 57 appearances in 2017, his first full season with the Indians, who acquired him in a trade with the New York Yankees in July 2016. In the past three seasons, Miller has 16 saves, 264 strikeouts and a 2.00 ERA in 171 innings.
The 6-foot-7 Miller began his MLB career in 2006 with Detroit and he has compiled a 49-48 record with a 3.98 ERA in 483 games pitched, striking out 853 in 725.1 innings.
The Cardinals have eagerly sought a lefty reliever with Brett Cecil struggling last season. They designated right-handed pitcher Ryan Meisinger for assignment to make room for Miller.
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