No, the headline is NOT a joke. I mean, it’s an absolute joke in the sense of what led to it happening, but the Cincinnati Reds decided to not pick up the $10,000,000 option on Wade Miley and placed him on waivers, allowing the Chicago Cubs to pick up the left-handed pitcher who led the Reds in ERA and WAR last season.
It would seem that rather than flat out declining his option and paying him $1,000,000 as a buyout, the team waived him hoping that someone would pick him up and save the team from having to pay the buyout.
Of course, the team could have simply picked up the option and traded him and not had to spend much money, either. But that could possibly mean risking the scenario where you have to write a check for baseball talent and that just seems to be outside of the scope of what team ownership wants to do.
As Bob Nightengale just tweeted…..
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 5, 2021
Wade Miley is coming off of a season in which he threw a no-hitter, led the team in WAR (Baseball Reference), led the team in ERA, and threw 163.0 innings. He was the best pitcher on the team and the Reds literally just gave him away.
It’s quite clear that whatever the Reds budget is, it’s not low enough. In the last two days the Reds have traded Tucker Barnhart for essentially nothing, and put Wade Miley on waivers so that they could save $1,500,000.
Any idea that was out there that maybe the team would at least pretend to try and do something for 2022 has been obliterated before free agency even began. Cincinnati is choosing to not spend any money, anywhere. The ownership group doesn’t want to win. But hey, at least the payroll is aligning with the resources. Print the shirts.