Berks County native and fellow Brandywine Heights graduate Wade Miller signed a $1 million deal with $1 million in incentives to pitch next season for the Chicago Cubs.
Many fans, including this one, believed Miller would have made a nice, low-cost addition to the Phillies if a deal was worked out with incentives. Miller is being viewed as a potential fifth starter and insurance policy in case Kerry Wood needs more time to recover from shoulder surgery. Miller is also on the road back from shoulder surgery and is penciled in for a May return.
Before a frayed rotator cuff ended his season in 2004, Miller was considered one of the up-and-coming right-handers in the National League. His best seasons were in 2001 and 2002 with the Astros, when he went 16-8 with a 3.40 ERA in '01 and 15-4 with a 3.28 ERA in '02.
In 2003, he pitched through a pinched nerve and went 14-13 with a 4.13 ERA. Doctors believe the pain is what led to the frayed cuff, causing him to change delivery.
The right-hander spent much of the 2005 season on the disabled list because of problems with his shoulder and was non-tendered for the second time in two years by the Red Sox in December. Seeing limited action, Miller went 4-4 with a 4.95 ERA last season.
This is a smaller deal than the one offered to him last season, which was a one-year, $1.5 million contract, including $3 million in performance bonuses based on innings and roster time.
Before today’s signing, ESPN.com had reported that the Phillies, Astros and Red Sox, among others, had expressed interest in him.