Andrew Miller Contract: Relief Pitcher Close to Agreeing Multi-year Deal with St. Louis Cardinals

Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller #24 of the Cleveland Indians pitches in the seventh inning against the Houston Astros during Game Three of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on October 8 in Cleveland, Ohio. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Saint Louis Cardinals' quest to strengthen their bullpen could be reaching the finishing line, as the team is close to completing the signing of free agent reliever Andrew Miller.

The Athletic's MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal and's Mark Feinsland both confirmed on Thursday night that Miller and the Cardinals were close to an agreement.

Read more: Joe Kelly set to sign three-year, $25 million deal with Los Angeles Dodgers

#STLCards closing in on free-agent reliever Andrew Miller, sources tell The Athletic.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 21, 2018

According to a source, Andrew Miller and the Cardinals are “very close” on a deal. @Ken_Rosenthal had it first.

— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 21, 2018

On Friday morning, the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch reported Miller was set to sign a two-year deal with the Cardinals, which will include the option to extend his contract by a further 12 months.

The financial details of the agreement were yet to be disclosed but could be confirmed as early as Friday. In 2015, Miller signed a fully guaranteed, four-year deal with the New York Yankees worth $36 million, before being traded to the Cleveland Indians a year later.

A two-time All-Star, a series of injuries limited Miller to 37 appearances and 34 innings last season and his agreement with the Cardinals will only be made official pending the result of a physical.

Since converting to the role of reliever in 2012 in his second of four seasons with the Boston Red Sox, the 33-year-old has developed into one of the best left-handed relievers in the MLB.

During his spell with the Yankees and the Indians, Milller twice finished in the top 10 of American League Cy Young balloting.

In 2016, Miller was named American League Championship Series MVP as the Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1. In the series, he recorded 7 2/3 scoreless innings and 14 strikeouts in four games. Unfortunately for Miller, the Indians eventually lost the World Series in seven games against the Chicago Cubs.

Left-handed reliever has long been an issue for the Cardinals. Brett Cecil had a 6.89 ERA in 32 2/3 innings last season and the five left-handed relievers who played at least five games combined for a 5.61 ERA, allowing 53 earned runs in 85 innings.

Miller, in comparison, has a 1.09 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 33 innings over 22 postseason appearances.

If, as expected, Miller completes his move to St. Louis, he will become the first free agent the Cardinals have signed this offseason. Six-time All-Star Paul Goldschmidt and utility fielder Drew Robinson both arrived in St. Louis via trade earlier this month.

The Cardinals would also have to free a spot on their full 40-man roster to clear room for Miller, who was on St. Louis's radar when he was last a free agent after the 2014 season.

Back then the Cardinals were interested in signing the Florida native but did not have a closer role available for him, paving the way for Miller to sign with the Yankees instead.