Cincinnati Reds: Three free agent relievers the team should pursue

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 9: Closing pitcher Andrew Miller #24 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on April 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Tigers 2-0. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 9: Closing pitcher Andrew Miller #24 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on April 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Tigers 2-0. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 22: Andrew Miller #24 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Boston Red Sox in the seventh inning at Progressive Field on September 22, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Red Sox 5-4 in 11 innings. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /

Andrew Miller, LHP

Andrew Miller did not have the same production last season that he did in 2017. Miller, who only played in 37 games last year, had a 4.24 ERA and 45 strikeouts through 34 innings pitched. The 33-year-old had an ERA+ of 104.

Miller spent three separate stints on the disabled list last season. He was on the DL in April with a hamstring issue and again later in the season with a knee injury. A shoulder problem put Miller on the DL in August. In 2016 and 2017, both All-Star seasons, he averaged more than 60 games played.

In Miller’s two All-Star seasons (2016-17) with the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees, he went 14-4 with a 1.45 ERA and struck out 218 batters in only 137 innings pitched. His ERA+ for those seasons combined is 307.

Miller is a talented left-hander who should be welcomed with open arms in the Queen City. There’s only two things that should prevent Cincinnati from bringing him on board, and that’s his health and the price tag.

As was mentioned earlier, Miller hit the DL on three separate occasions last season. That has to bring some level of concern to whichever team decides to bring Miller on board. Being a small market team, the Reds cannot afford to make a mistake when doling out contracts.

Then there’s the money. While Miller did not have a success 2018 campaign, his ability and history will get him a considerable contract, and one that may be too rich for the Cincinnati Reds. Last year, after coming off an All-Star season with the Colorado Rockies, Greg Holland signed a $14 MM deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Brandon Morrow signed a 2 year/ $21 million dollar contract with the Cubs last offseason after three straight dominant seasons with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. Could Miller command a $10 million per year salary? If so, then the Reds are likely out of any bidding war for the lefty’s services.