Today the Chicago Cubs signed lefty reliever Trever Miller to a minor league deal. He’ll come to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, and, if he makes the big club out of camp, he’ll get $800k.

Miller, 38, has had a long and successful career as a lefty specialist, most recently with the Red Sox for a three-game stretch at the end of last season. Having signed Miller late in the year in 2011, you can figure Theo Epstein is very familiar with what he brings to the table. After rediscovering his form at age 30, Miller has been among the league’s better left-handed relievers, posting ERA+ of 147, 108, 148, 92, 107, 199, 98, 106, 151 since 2004, though he threw just 21.1 innings in 2011. The Cubs would be Miller’s 9th team in his 13-year career.

After trading lefty stud Sean Marshall earlier this Winter (and allowing ineffective lefty John Grabow (who took a minor league deal with the Dodgers) to walk), the Cubs have presumably been looking for a lefty to compete for a bullpen spot, together with incumbent lefty James Russell, and youngsters Jeff Beliveau, John Gaub, and Scott Maine.

  • SirCub

    I can dig it. Marshall and Russell were both good last year, but neither are really specialists (Just good pitchers who happen to pitch left-handed). It would be great if he could fill that role.

  • Fishin Phil

    May the best pitcher win!

  • Luke

    No such thing as too much depth.

    Beliveau is still my favorite to emerge from the pack and take a spot in the bullpen, but a few months in Iowa won’t hurt him any. This could easily be a case where the Cubs sign a guy today so they can trade him in July.

  • die hard

    a team built on a wing and a prayer…and why was Hendry let go?

    • TWC

      Gramps, you’re really getting into full-on troll mode today.  New prescriptions don’t kick in until the 1st of the month, eh?

    • DCF

      Becuase Hedry would have signed someone to a 3ye $12 million deal to be a “lefty specialist”.
      Yeah I”m exaggerating, but it’s impossbile not to like this signing. MIller is cheap, has tons of upside given his track record and zero risk, as he wont even see Wrigley if he sucks. How could a deal be any better than this?

  • dale deweerdt

    Maybe miller can be the significant player the red sox

  • ferrets_bueller

    Cubs also sign a couple of verteran minor leaguers, helping to protect the system.  Edgar Gonzales and Matt Tolbert, per MLBTRs.

    Good stuff, helping to possibly avoid a Jim Hendry-esque swiss cheese minor league system.

  • Brian Myers

    As long as he comes back from a rocky 2011, he’s a nice pickup. A 4. ish ERA, inexpensive and historically a decent SO to walk ratio. He seems to be declining the past two years, but if he’s not good enough to make the team out of spring training then he’s not a big loss for us either. So, I believe, worth the chance to bring into spring.