Another day, another free agent rumor for the Dodgers. So far this offseason has been much to do about nothing for the new front office regime for the Dodgers, and they have only picked up some minor league pieces and Joel Peralta to help out the bullpen. While I encouragingly wrote about Cole Hamels and the Dodgers being a pricey possibility for the starting rotation, it seems that the Dodgers have indeed been shopping for some more relief from their relief options.
Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted that the Dodgers and Yankees are in “serious pursuit” of the left-handed reliever.
Miller reportedly already has multiple three-year deals in hand, so he would most likely be signing a four-year deal with his chosen team. The Dodgers, who have let Hanley Ramirez leave for Boston and passed on free agent Russell Martin earlier this offseason, have not been jumping to sign any pricey free agent this winter. Miller would be potentially earning a big salary for a reliever who isn’t of the closer variety.
After the semi-disastrous multi-year deal given to Brandon League (I say semi because League was surprisingly effective last season), it looked as though the Dodgers would definitely want to steer clear of handing out large contracts to volatile relievers.
Many teams seem to have interest in Miller making him one of the top free agents this winter. Could the Dodgers make Miller the first big signing of the new Andrew Friedman-Farhan Zaidi era?
After last season’s NLDS debacle, the Dodgers bullpen is clearly in need of reworking. With his hands essentially tied as the Dodgers worked on restructuring the front office last season, Ned Colletti was unable to make any trade deadline moves in order to bolster the shaky bullpen. Going into October, everyone knew that the
Oct 10, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Andrew Miller (48) pitches in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals in game one of the 2014 ALCS playoff at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports
bullpen had been a glaring weak spot for the Dodgers all year.
Andrew Miller would be a phenomenal addition to the Dodger bullpen. With J.P. Howell, the Dodgers could have two of the best left-handed relievers in baseball in their bullpen instantly making it more reliable and dynamic. With Paco Rodriguez also in the mix, the Dodgers would finally have three solid southpaw relievers in which to utilize. Remember when Hung-Chih Kuo was the only left-hander out of the Dodger bullpen for awhile?
Miller, the big left-hander, had a great season between his time in Boston and Baltimore. With a combined ERA of 2.02 with 103 strikeouts and just 17 walks over 62 1/3 innings pitched, Miller was quite dominant. He only allowed 2 homeruns all year, and his 15.3 SO/9 ratio makes me giddy.
Miller won’t come cheap, but the Dodgers need to not be penny pinching over every decision to fill the holes in the roster. The bullpen has needed some attention for a long time. With Paco Rodriguez, Kenley Jansen, Joel Peralta, J.P. Howell, Brandon League, Andrew Miller and sigh Brian Wilson, the Dodgers could have a very solid relief squad. With Chris Perez and Jamey Wright out of the picture, the Dodgers would definitely see an upgrade with Peralta and Miller slotted into the bullpen instead.
With less offense coming from the lineup after Hanley Ramirez’s Hanleywood reign came to an end, the Dodgers will need to have shored up defense and a reliable bullpen in 2015 to counterbalance the potentially lower offensive output. Andrew Miller would be an excellent option in order to give the Dodgers a refreshed bullpen going into 2015 and beyond. The less I have to start worrying in the seventh inning, the better.