As we have been doing for a while now, when the Cincinnati Reds make a significant move we here at Redleg Nation chime in with how we felt about the transaction. Earlier this week the Reds signed left-handed starting pitcher Wade Miley to a 2-year deal with an option year for 2022, with a guarantee of $15M (includes the 2022 buyout, but not the 2022 salary if the option is picked up). Here’s what some of the writers had to say about the deal:
It’s a fairly low risk, high reward signing that still allows the Reds to sign a free agent hitter. Wade Miley gives the starting rotation some stability, which the Reds will need when Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani become free agents after 2020. Miley’s not going to give the Reds 200 innings, but in the last two seasons, he’s had an ERA+ of 159 and 116, respectively. If Derek Johnson can get Miley to pitch like that again and forget about last September when he gave up 21 earned runs in 11.1 innings, Miley’s going to be quite the value for a fifth starter. And to those who are worried about Tyler Mahle not getting his chance, don’t worry. He’ll still pitch with the Reds at some point during the season. Injuries happen every year and teams need depth. The 2012 Reds team that used only six starters for an entire season was an anomaly.
Wade Miley wasn’t the shiniest pitching toy available this off this season. He probably wasn’t even the best still available when the Reds signed him. However, he fills a need for the Reds, a left-handed starter who should take the ball every fifth day and keep the Reds in the game most of the time.
This signing reinforces the message sent by the Mike Moustakas signing that the Reds seek to be players in the free agent market. While neither of these guys are top-tier signings at this point in their careers, they represent a quantum step forward from the rehabilitation and dumpster diving projects which have characterized the Reds recent off season free agent acquisition efforts.
The quality of the Reds projected 2020 starting rotation is being noticed across MLB. This portends good things for the Reds not just on the field of play but also in being able to attract the interest of quality free agents moving forward.
This isn’t a big-headline move but a good one. I like it a lot. It deepens the Reds starters, allows Tyler Mahle time to develop since he has options available and is just a two-year deal. I’d guess his relationship with the Reds pitching coach was a big factor in him coming to the Rhineland. I’ll feel better if the Reds can add another bat before the season starts; if not, this is a crucial season for Winker/Ervin. My last two cents: leave Senzel alone and let him hit like he used to in the past. Our hitting coaches, who were mostly abject failures as hitters in the major leagues, should leave him alone.
I really like this deal. Look, in a vacuum, no, this deal doesn’t make the Reds a playoff team. When we look back on this offseason, though, and see this as the 3rd or 4th best get for this front office, it turns out to be a heck of a deal. And average of $7.5 million for a guy who gives you six bonafide major league starters and he has a track record with Derek Johnson (one of his best years in 2018). This also gives the Reds a good pitching staff once they make the playoffs. Castillo, Gray, and Bauer for your starters and Miley, Disco, Mahle for your long relief guys. The mantra of Dick Williams’s front office has been smart, savvy moves and this fits right in.