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Reds: Adam Wainwright’s new contract bodes well for Wade Miley

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 14: Wade Miley #22 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after being removed. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 14: Wade Miley #22 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after being removed. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
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Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Wade Miley has a $10M club-option for next season, meaning the front office controls Miley’s fate with the team. Will Cincinnati pick up Miley’s option or pay the $1M buyout and allow the left-hander to enter free agency?

After seeing St. Louis Cardinals’ starter Adam Wainwright secure a one-year/$16M contract at age 40, the Reds’ brass shouldn’t’ hesitate for one second to lock up Miley for the 2022 season. Not only would it give the team a veteran presence in the rotation, but Miley’s $10M salary would be a bargain.

Wainwright has performed exceedingly well for the Cards this season, going 17-7 with a 3.05 ERA and 174 strikeouts over 206.1 innings. Miley enjoyed similar success for the Redlegs in 2021, posting a 12-7 record with a 3.37 ERA over 163 innings. Miley racked up 125 strikeouts and pitched a no-hitter earlier this season.

Wade Miley’s $10M salary in 2022 is a bargain for the Reds.

The Cincinnati Reds have some decisions to make this offseason in regard to their starting rotation. All five starters are under team control, and three of the five are due a substantial raise heading into 2022.

Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle are both entering their second year of arbitration eligibility. Castillo took home $4.2M in 2021 and Mahle signed a one-year/$2.2M deal. Both are likely to see those figures increase. Miley earned $8M this season, meaning his club-option carries a $2M bump in pay.

Adam Wainwright doubled his salary from this season to next. The veteran right-hander signed a one-year/$8M contract prior to this season, and his latest extension with St. Louis will pay Wainwright $16M in 2022. That feels like a drastic overpay for a pitcher who’ll be 41 years old by the end of next season.

However, that’s all the more reason for the Cincinnati Reds too pick up Wade Miley’s $10M option. Miley will be 35 years old next season, and is coming off his best full season in nearly a decade. Miley posted a 2.57 ERA in 2018 with Milwaukee, but only started 16 games for the Brewers that season.

Keeping Miley in the Queen City for just $10M is a bargain. With young hurlers like Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo likely to make their major league debuts in 2022, having an experienced starter with the affable personality of Miley would offer invaluable mentorship to the former first-round picks.

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Wade Miley has stated that he hopes to retire as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, something the front office would have to assist with. Nick Krall and his fellow executives can help make that a reality for Miley by picking up the southpaw’s club-option following the conclusion of the 2021 postseason.

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