The St. Louis Cardinals have signed free-agent reliever Andrew Miller to two-year contract with a vesting option with a third year, the team announced. Miller had received multiple two-year offers but has been seeking a three-year deal, so the two sides compromised with a vesting options.
Here are the financial terms of the contract:
Andrew Miller’s deal with #STLCards, per source: Two years, $25M, plus vesting option, full no-trade clause. Option worth $12M, vests at 110 games combined in 2019-20. Incentives: $500K per year based on appearances. Breakdown: $11M in 2019, $11.5M in ‘20, $2.5M buyout on option.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 21, 2018
Miller, who will turn 34 on May 21, struggled in 2018 and missed time due to hamstring and shoulder issues while also ending up on the 60-day disabled list because of a right knee injury. He finished with a 4.24 ERA in just 34 innings. Last season's injuries and struggles aside, Miller has been one of the game's best relievers in recent years and he was an essential part of the Cleveland Indians' American League pennant-winning team in 2016.
From 2014-17, Miller complied a 1.72 ERA with averages of 14.5 strikeouts and 2.3 walks per nine innings. In 22 playoff games, Miller has a 1.09 ERA and 48 strikeouts over 33 innings pitched. He only walked 11 for a 0.879 WHIP.
In 2018, Andrew Miller had his worst year since 2013 and posted a 0.4 fWAR. That was almost equivalent to the value of the *entire Cardinals' bullpen,* which posted a 0.5 fWAR as a group.— Devan Fink (@DevanFink) December 21, 2018
The Cardinals', and Miller, a top tier left-handed reliever, will provide a powerful presence in the back end of their bullpen. The unit finished 12th in the National League in ERA (4.38) while posting the league's second-highest walk rate (4.34 per nine innings) and fourth-lowest strikeout rate (8.31 per nine innings) in 2018.