The New York Mets are reportedly interested in free agent reliever Andrew Miller, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Andy Martino added that Miller is seeking a multi-year deal. Miller has spent the last two-and-a-half seasons with the Cleveland Indians, where he worked with pitching coach and current Mets manager Mickey Callaway in 2016 and 2017.
After failing to build a career as a starting pitcher, Miller transitioned to the bullpen and became one of baseball’s premiere relief pitchers from 2014-2017. Across those four seasons, he posted a 1.72 ERA, a 1.83 FIP, a 41.8% strikeout rate, and a 6.7% walk rate in 216 innings, which amounted to a 9.6 fWAR. Only Dellin Betances and Kenley Jansen put up a higher WAR among relief pitchers during that span. He racked up 421 strikeouts while holding opposing batters to a .151 batting average.
Injuries took their toll last season and limited the 33-year-old Miller’s time on the field. After starting the season by pitching ten scoreless innings, he landed on the disabled list with a strained hamstring and missed three weeks. He landed back on the DL in late May with inflammation in his right knee and did not make his return until August. He ended up back on the shelf for a third time with an external impingement in his left shoulder shortly thereafter. In 34 innings, he posted a 4.24 ERA, a 3.51 FIP, a 29.2% strikeout rate, and a 10.4% walk rate, which resulted in a 0.4 fWAR. After stranding 91.4% of runners in the previous two seasons, he stranded just 75.3% in 2018.
News of the team’s interest in Miller is not necessarily surprising, as they will need to explore every possible option available on the open market in order to repair their beleaguered bullpen, which posted a 4.96 ERA and a 4.61 FIP. Mets relievers also had the third-worst combined fWAR (-0.6) in baseball. With Jerry Blevins becoming a free agent, Miller could fill the role as the team’s top left-handed option in the pen.
Miller has made $9 million annually in each of the past four seasons. Despite the down year, it is likely that he will likely command a similar annual salary. Some of the other big-name relievers on the market include Craig Kimbrel, David Robertson, Adam Ottavino, Jeurys Familia, and Zach Britton.