Reds should unquestionably bring Wade Miley back in 2022
By Drew Koch
Wade Miley hit the injured list with a neck strain and is likely done for the season. This raises a fair question, but one that should be answered quickly and without any doubt. Should the Cincinnati Reds pick up Miley’s team-option for the 2022 season? Yes!
While the Reds have a lot of difficult decisions to make in the coming months, this is not one of them. Miley has a $10M team-option for next season with a $1M buyout. Given the production that Cincinnati has received from Miley this season, it would be foolish to let the southpaw go.
Miley, at 34 years old, has put up one of his most productive seasons to date. The former All-Star has a 3.37 ERA, the veteran’s best over a full season of action since 2013. While Miley doesn’t fit the mold of today’s pitcher with high strikeout numbers and 95-plus on the radar gun, the left-hander gets results.
The Reds should pick up Wade Miley’s $10M team-option for 2022.
Wade Miley wants to stay in Cincinnati. You can’t sat that about a lot of players. A great deal of major leaguers chase the bright lights and big dollars, preferring a big market like Los Angeles or New York. Miley, however, is a good ‘ole boy, who’d love to finish his career with the Cincinnati Reds. Here’s an excerpt from Miley’s press conference yesterday via MLB.com:
"“I talked to my family, talked to my wife. Obviously, it’s a business. I’ve been on seven different teams, so I understand how this works. But we love it here. We absolutely love it in Cincinnati. I feel like Cincinnati, they made this place feel like home. We have a home here. I would love nothing more than to be a part of this team until I’m done, whenever that may be.”"
Yes, it is a business, but the smart business decision is to keep Miley in the Queen City. When you look at what Miley did this past season, $10M is a bargain if the left-hander can match his production from his 2021 campaign.
The Reds also have a lot of unknowns heading into 2022. What will it cost to retain Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle via arbitration. Castillo signed for $4.2M last winter and Mahle agreed to a one-year/$2.2M contract. I can almost guarantee you that both starters will at least double their 2021 salaries heading into next season.
Sonny Gray is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract. The former Vanderbilt alum was on the trade block last offseason, and many fans are wondering if that’ll be the case again this winter.
Vladimir Gutierrez posted some nice numbers early on during his rookie campaign, but the right-hander has hit a wall over the past month-plus. Will Gutierrez be part of the Cincinnati rotation in 2022? You can bet your bottom dollar he’ll enter spring training with as good a chance as anyone else.
Then there’s the Reds’ top two pitching prospects. Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo will likely enter next spring with a chance to open the season on the big league roster. However, it’s anyone’s guess how the two rookies will perform on the big stage and fans should expect some hiccups along the way.
Keeping Wade Miley will add some stability to the Cincinnati Reds rotation next season. There are also very few teammates who’d be better equipped to show Greene and Lodolo the ropes and teach them how to be a major leaguer.
It was a pleasure to watch Wade Miley pitch this season, and few fans will ever forget the southpaw’s no-hitter versus the Cleveland Indians on May 7th. The Reds shouldn’t have to hesitate for a single second, and after the World Series comes to a close, the front office should exercise Miley’s team-option for the 2022 season.