Wade Miley will not return to the Astros, as he’s heading to Cincinnati.
Any hopes of the Astros bringing back Wade Miley to help stabilize the rotation ended on Monday. News broke that the left-hander signed a free agent deal with the Cincinnati Reds, meaning his stay in Houston will last only one season.
Miley came to the Astros on a one-year deal and earned $4.5 million. He outperformed his contract, pitching to a 14-6 record and 3.98 ERA in 33 starts. He was especially good through his first 28 starts, as he carried a 3.06 ERA and 13-4 record into September.
Unfortunately the wheels came off after that, as he allowed 12 earned runs while recording only one out between his first two starts in the season’s final month. He ended up with a 16.68 ERA in September and lost his rotation spot for the postseason, and in fact did not even make the ALCS or World Series rosters.
With the Reds, Miley is guaranteed $15 million over two years — a $6 million salary in 2020, $8 million in 2021 and a $1 million buyout on a $10 million club option for 2022. He’ll earn $24 million over three years if the option is picked up and has some performance bonuses as well.
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So in the end, the 33-year-old Miley was able to parlay five excellent months and one disastrous month into a multiyear contract and a pay raise from what he earned in 2019. The Astros clearly did not feel comfortable making such a guarantee after what they saw from the southpaw in September and October.
Moves to Come
The Astros haven’t been as quick to act so far this offseason as many other teams have, but that doesn’t mean they’re failing. It seems Jeff Luhnow is content to wait out the market and find a pitcher on a deal he’s comfortable with, which we’ve seen pay off in the past.
The club got better-than-expected performances out of Miley and Charlie Morton on what were unheralded free agent deals at the time. They do need to add one or two starting pitchers to the mix, but there’s plenty of time to make that happen. Joe Smith was just re-signed, so they are addressing the team’s needs. The club just does not have the luxury of ponying up for the top free agents this winter.
So we say goodbye to Miley, who still turned out to be an excellent signing by Luhnow despite how his season ended. Best of luck to the veteran as he hopes to continue his success with the Reds.