The New York Yankees aren’t done adding competitors to the roster this spring, with Opening Day quickly approaching on April 7. After an impressive win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, general manager Brian Cashman looked to the free-agent market for a bit more support in the pitching department.
The Yankees inked Shelby Miller to a minor-league contract, providing him an opportunity to compete over the next week for a potential roster spot.
Per the Yankees PR team:
The Yankees have signed RHP Shelby Miller to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League spring training.
Miller, who is currently 31 years old and a former first-round pick in the 2009 MLB June amateur draft, played in 10 games last season with Pittsburgh and three with Chicago. In total, he recorded a 9.24 ERA, down significantly from the 3.02 ERA he posted in 2015 with the Atlanta Braves.
Looking at Miller objectively, his stuff has fallen off a steep cliff over the past few seasons, but he offers a middle-of-the-road fastball at about 94 mph and incorporates a cutter, curveball, and changeup into the mix. He’s primarily a fastball and cutter pitcher, but he’s dabbled with a slider recently, throwing it 14.3% last season.
Realistically, Miller might land with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre if he’s willing to fight his way through the minor-league system, but at this point in time, not many major league teams are going to see the value in a pitcher that has posted back-to-back disappointing seasons over a 29 game sample size.