clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Yankees Potential 2015 Free Agent Target: Andrew Miller

Could Miller fill a void if David Robertson leaves for another team?

Mitchell Layton

2014 Statistics: 2.02 ERA, 62.1 IP, 1.51 FIP, 14.87 K/9, 2.3 WAR

2015 Age: Turns 30 on May 21st

Position: Left-handed relief pitcher

Andrew Miller turned in the best season of his career in 2014, splitting time between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. The left-hander was dominant out of the bullpen with an ERA just over 2.00 in over 60 innings. The good news about Miller is that he is far from a LOOGY despite throwing with his left-hand. He pitched 10 more innings against right-handed batters in 2014, and he managed to hold them to a lower batting average against than lefties. Righties only batted .141 against Miller while lefties batted .161. That kind of dominance against both handedness of batters makes Miller a dangerous weapon out of any bullpen.

The strikeout numbers are also very impressive for Miller, striking out nearly 15 batters per nine innings in 2014. The Yankees have enjoyed those kind of gaudy strikeout numbers from Dellin Betances and David Robertson in their bullpen and Miller very much falls right in with that kind of ability. It is really only over the course of the last three seasons that Miller has found the kind of success that is making him a hot commodity on the free agent market this offseason. With relievers being notoriously volatile, have we seen enough of him being dominant to really commit to him for multiple years at a high cost?

Since he was traded to Baltimore in the middle of the season, Miller doesn't require draft compensation from whichever team brings him in this winter. That's good for a team looking to hold onto their picks next June, and good for Miller who will likely receive more money as a result of his high demand. It was reported on Thursday that 22 of 30 teams expressed some interest in Miller. After watching bullpen after bullpen crumble in the postseason, that shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone. It's the same reason why David Robertson will get top dollar for his services from a team that may or may not be the Yankees.

It wouldn't really be prudent for the Yankees to bring in Miller on top of bringing back Robertson, if they get even one of them at all. It's possible that the team could soften the blow of another team giving Robertson a huge contract by signing Miller, who doesn't come with the closer price tag that Robertson will likely require. Miller could work the eighth or ninth innings in a situation where the Yankees don't have Robertson, depending on how they employ Dellin Betances. However, Miller is said to be seeking a deal in the four-year range worth a ton of money. He's certainly not going to be a bargain by any means.

The Yankees have done a good job of developing relievers on their own, so they may be reluctant to pursue one in free agency that will come at a high cost that isn't named David Robertson. It seems especially unnecessary when considering the state of the infield and starting rotation. That probably means that Miller will find his way to another team before the 2015 season. Whichever team it is will be getting themselves a pretty good weapon for the late innings in Miller.