Ah, I just can’t help myself but take the same swing at the Brewers that I did at the Cardinals when they signed Bud Norris (even though I actually think the Norris signing was a good one for the Cardinals). The Cubs got Yu Darvish, the Brewers got Wade Miley.
Veteran starter Wade Miley signs minor League deal with #Brewers that guarantees him $2.5 million wirh major-league team and $5.7 million if full time starter and reaches 29 starts.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 15, 2018
To be sure, it’s a minimal commitment with most of the money tied up in incentives (obviously that’s been a huge part of the market impact this offseason), and this is a fine contract for the Brewers. Miley, 31, was a perfectly useful back-end starter as recently as 2015, but his breakout 2012 season seems ages ago (six years, by my count). He can eat some innings at this point, but barring some kind of incredible fix, it seems like he either nibbles so much that he walks a ton of guys or becomes too hittable these days.
Together with Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers have added a lot of depth to their rotation this offseason on a budget. Believe it or not, they could actually have a fine rotation despite that, but it requires a lot of “ifs” to come to fruition:
- If Chase Anderson repeats his breakout.
- If Zach Davies finally takes that Kyle-Hendricks-like step forward.
- If Brent Suter really can be a good starting pitcher.
- If Brandon Woodruff develops into the solid middle-of-the-rotation arm that many think he can be.
- If Jhoulys Chacin proves his insane home-road splits with the Padres weren’t just about Petco.
- If Yovani Gallardo or Wade Miley settle in as a solid number five.
- If Jimmy Nelson returns from his shoulder surgery quickly and at 100%.
Heck, if all that happened, the Brewers would have an embarrassment of riches. Of course, baseball doesn’t work that way – it’s equally possible that a bunch of horrible things happen – so they’ve done a great job at least building up the depth.
The Brewers’ rotation shouldn’t scare you, but I think we should respect the fact that they’ve put themselves in position to have an average or better than average rotation despite some obvious financial limitations.