For the second Christmas in a row, Wade Miller could be getting a pink slip under the tree.
According to the Boston Herald, the Boston Red are not expected to tender the 29-year-old pitcher a contract before tonight’s midnight deadline, effectively releasing the pitcher.
Miller spent one season with the Sox after signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract with performance bonuses. He went 4-4 with a 4.95 ERA, missing the first 30 games while recovering from a strained right shoulder, then landing on the disabled list again Aug. 9 with shoulder stiffness and missed the rest of the season. He underwent shoulder surgery on Sept. 29. There are no reports on a timetable for his return.
This would be the second time in a year the fellow Brandywine Heights grad was non-tendered. With Houston, he frayed his rotator cuff halfway through the 2004 season and missed the remainder of the season. Rather than risk it, the Astros didn’t offer him a contract.
His best seasons were in 2001 and 2002 with the Astros, going 16-8 with a 3.40 ERA in '01 and 15-4 with a 3.28 ERA in '02. Along with Roy Oswalt, they were considered the future of the Astros pitching staff.
But in 2003, he pitched through a pinched nerve and was 14-13 with a 4.13 ERA. Doctors believe the pain is what led to the frayed cuff, causing a change in delivery.
Would the Phillies have interest?
The doctors would know more about Miller’s status than anybody, but his future is indeed murky after multiple problems with his pitching shoulder.
As we know, the Phillies need starting pitching. When healthy, Miller is a good pitcher. If he hopes to land on his feet again, an offer from the Phillies might be the most attractive scenario if the team is willing to chance it. He resides about an hour from Philadephia, where he can rehab close to home.
Depending on the time-table for his return, a small, one-year deal in the $1 million range, loaded with performance bonuses, wouldn’t hurt. Realistically, coming off shoulder surgery just three months ago, it’s a gamble that would hinge entirely on the advice of specialists.
Obviously, I’m cheering for him, but I'm also cheering for the Phillies to make some kind of move for a veteran pitcher. A signing like this isn't entirely out of the question. Would the Phillies bring the local boy aboard?