Cardinals Boost Bench with Infielder Brad Miller

photo: Brad Miller (Brad Mills/Imagn)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Wednesday, February 12) that they have agreed to terms with free-agent infielder Brad Miller on a one-year contract for the 2020 season.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Brad Miller

The team also announced that right-handed pitcher Jordan Hicks has been placed on the 60-day Injured List (right elbow) to make room for Miller’s addition to the Cardinals’ 40-man Major League roster.

Jordan Hicks

Miller, 30, has played six-plus seasons in the majors with Seattle (2013-15), Tampa Bay (2016-18), Milwaukee (2018), Cleveland (2019) and Philadelphia (2019), batting .241 with 88 HR’s & 293 RBI in 759 career games.

Miller began the 2019 season with Cleveland, appearing in 13 games before closing out the campaign with a rush, clubbing 12 HR’s in 66 games for the Phillies.  Between his stops in Cleveland and Philadelphia, Miller appeared in 41 games with the Yankees triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, batting .294 with 10 HR’s & 29 RBI in 136 at-bats.  He combined to bat .260 with 13 HR’s and 25 RBI in his 79 games in the majors in 2019 with a .894 OPS.

The left-handed hitting Miller hit eight home runs last September, ranking 4th among all National League batters, while also posting a .327 batting mark and an .800 slugging pct. (2nd in N.L.) during the season’s final month.

The 6-2, 215-pound Miller, an Orlando, Fla. native, has logged 376 career games at shortstop, 169 at second base, 75 at first base, 26 at third base and 53 in the outfield.  The Clemson University product was a 2nd round draft selection by Seattle in 2011, and he made his Major League debut with the Mariners in June of 2013.  He hit a career single-season high 30 homers with 81 RBI in 2016 for Tampa Bay.

Miller has been assigned uniform no. 15.

Brian Walton’s take

This addition gives the Cardinals bench more pop, with Miller joining switch-hitters Matt Wieters and Tommy Edman as a swinger from the left side.

Salary information from Jon Heyman:

Miller offers the Cardinals a more seasoned version of the second-year player Edman, albeit as a much more accomplished shortstop. A proven reserve at the position became a clear need after starter Paul DeJong played in 159 games last season and his offensive results showed the heavy usage.

Losers in this signing from the 26-man roster perspective appear to be infielders Yairo Muñoz and Edmundo Sosa, previously expected to battle for a reserve infield spot that now seems earmarked for Miller. Edman may also lose playing time up the middle and become more of a third base-outfield reserve.

Perhaps Muñoz and Sosa will join first baseman-outfielder Rangel Ravelo and catcher Andrew Knizner among others in what could be a very competitive battle for the 26th spot on the roster.

With a roster of 13 hitters assured, along with the eight starters will be the reserve catcher (Wieters), reserve infielder (Miller), reserve IF-OF (Edman), reserve outfielder (either Lane Thomas or Tyler O’Neill, whichever is not starting) and the 26th man.

Miller becomes the 73rd player in Cardinals spring training camp.

Recovering from Tommy John surgery, Hicks is not expected to return until at least mid-season.

For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.

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