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Decision Day for Andrew Miller


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#1 The Ghost of Ned Martin

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 06:04 AM

Today the Red Sox must either put Andrew Miller on the ML Roster or he has the option to declare himself a free agent.

http://sports.yahoo....?urn=mlb-363105


Red Sox adding Triple-A hurler Miller?
By Mark J. Miller

Posted ImageTriple-A lefty pitcher Andrew Miller(notes) could have become a free agent Wednesday if the Boston Red Sox hadn't been working overtime to keep him onboard. The Boston Globe reports that Miller has a clause in his contract that would allow him to be a free agent if he isn't with the big club Wednesday.

A Major League source told the Globe that the team was working Tuesday night to figure out a way to get Miller up into the rotation of the big club.



As the article points out, Miller seems to have made great progress with his control which has been his biggest problem during his major and minor league career. I can't believe, given the time and energy the organization has put into acquiring, keeping and developing him, that they are going to let Miller walk. Especially with the Yankees sniffing around.
So, what does that mean for Tim Wakefield? It would seem he would be headed back to the bullpen.

#2 BigSlick

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:52 AM

There's no choice on whether or not to call him up. The only choice is how they make the room for him.

#3 Manny's PS2

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:15 AM

Hottovoy is not pitching well all of a sudden (Bus to pawtucket). I realize they have stretched Miller out and he's a starter, but to get him on the roster - that's the best way. Make him the long man, and let Aceves slide into the Jenks role for the time being. Really, Wakefield has been very good, but Miller is a dominant power lefty when he's on, and he's on. If he's "fixed" he ain't going anywhere. They'll either work it out with him or he'll be in the BP or rotation asap.

#4 MrNewEngland

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:44 AM

I just read an article that said he's coming up and they'll - temporarily - go to a six man rotation. I'll look for it and add the link.

The article showed some pretty impressive stats in his last few starts. Still it feels rushed due to his opt out contract, since he's been pitching well he knows someone will pick him up with a MLB deal if he opts out.

If he comes up and reverts back to terrible can he be optioned back down to AAA? I don't fully understand options & waivers.

#5 Manny's PS2

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:37 AM

I just read an article that said he's coming up and they'll - temporarily - go to a six man rotation. I'll look for it and add the link.

The article showed some pretty impressive stats in his last few starts. Still it feels rushed due to his opt out contract, since he's been pitching well he knows someone will pick him up with a MLB deal if he opts out.

If he comes up and reverts back to terrible can he be optioned back down to AAA? I don't fully understand options & waivers.

If they get him a horse drawn carriage and three hookers for the ride, he can be optioned. Otherwise he has to clear waivers because of the idiocy of the Florida Marlins. (I think)

Many reports now:
http://mlb.sbnation....on-red-sox-news

Edited by Manny's PS2, 15 June 2011 - 10:39 AM.


#6 BlackJack

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:49 AM

Many reports now:
http://mlb.sbnation....on-red-sox-news


Wow - that was a remarkably poorly written article.

#7 Manny's PS2

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:51 AM

Wow - that was a remarkably poorly written article.

My bad - horrible link.

Reports are swirling, but I have not seen anything concrete yet. (FYI) Even twitter is telling me nothing, and i speak to it a lot.

Abraham says he's coming up and pitching against the Friars next week and Speier says there's nothing hammered out yet but the sides are talking today. (Duh, this isn't Carlton F'ing Fisk and Haywood F'ing Sullivan).

Edited by Manny's PS2, 15 June 2011 - 11:43 AM.


#8 Hail Cesar

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:07 PM

I heard the 6-man rotation rumor too. Seems like if Miller lights it up on Monday, that he's gonna be in the rotation for a while. They didn't use him as a reliever in Pawtucket (save for 1 inning?), so I doubt that they're going to try to convert him now while he appears to be throwing well.

As far as the waiver situation goes... I remember in the off-season that part of Miller's deal included some weird clause where if the Red Sox place him on waivers and another team claims him, that they team who claims him can obtain his services for this season (if a deal is made), but the Red Sox will still hold an option on him for next season. I'm not sure if this same clause still applies if Miller makes it past waivers.

#9 BigSlick

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:05 PM

I remember in the off-season that part of Miller's deal included some weird clause where if the Red Sox place him on waivers and another team claims him, that they team who claims him can obtain his services for this season (if a deal is made), but the Red Sox will still hold an option on him for next season. I'm not sure if this same clause still applies if Miller makes it past waivers.


That's impossible. MLB would (correctly) never allow a player to play for one team while under a future contract with another team

#10 Hail Cesar

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 06:17 AM

That's impossible. MLB would (correctly) never allow a player to play for one team while under a future contract with another team


I am always right... Andrew Miller's contract (reported by FanGraphs too)

... except for those times when I am wrong....

#11 BigSlick

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 07:21 AM

I am always right... Andrew Miller's contract (reported by FanGraphs too)

... except for those times when I am wrong....


I haven't finished my coffee yet so I'm not sure if you're claiming to be right or wrong.

In case you're claiming to be right, the option for 2012 kicks in, but it's the team that claims him that has the $3 mil contract with him for 2012.

I know this clause benefits the Sox, but it seems very shady to me. If they really want to keep him, why not make the option clause $475 Trillion? The way it's worded the Sox are the only team that it can't kick in for. If this type of language becomes a trend I would suspect that MLB will step in and make it illegal.

#12 BlackJack

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:38 AM

In case you're claiming to be right, the option for 2012 kicks in, but it's the team that claims him that has the $3 mil contract with him for 2012.


I'm not going to say categorically that you're wrong on this - but I'm not sure that you're reading it correctly.

But to discourage other clubs from doing so, the Red Sox inserted some language in Miller’s contract that GM Theo Epstein said he has not used previously in such cases. The language, according to a baseball source, stipulates that if Miller is with the major league club this season, is placed on waivers for the purpose of sending him to the minors and claimed on waivers by another team, a $3 million club option held by the Red Sox for the 2012 season becomes vested and guaranteed.


I think the 'held by the Red Sox' is the relevant portion here. If it was just a $3M option that vested upon being claimed off waivers, Edes would have just called it a $3M option. I agree that it is very unusual and I have a hard time believing that MLB approved that clause but if what Edes wrote is accurate, it sounds like HC is correct.

#13 BigSlick

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 09:03 AM

I'm not going to say categorically that you're wrong on this - but I'm not sure that you're reading it correctly.



I think the 'held by the Red Sox' is the relevant portion here. If it was just a $3M option that vested upon being claimed off waivers, Edes would have just called it a $3M option. I agree that it is very unusual and I have a hard time believing that MLB approved that clause but if what Edes wrote is accurate, it sounds like HC is correct.


http://www.fangraphs...vesting-option/

Here’s the basics – Miller signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox, with the plan being for him to begin the year in Triple-A. If he is called up at any point, they will have to pass him through waivers before they can re-assign him to Pawtucket, as he is out of options. If Miller had a good showing in his time in the big leagues, there would be a decent chance that another team would have taken a shot at him, and used the waiver process to grab him for themselves. So, to prevent that from happening, the Red Sox gave Miller a $3 million option for 2012 that vests if he’s claimed on waivers by another team.

This essentially guarantees that Miller will slide through waivers unclaimed, giving them the right to assign him to their Triple-A affiliate even though he’s out of options. Effectively, this contract structure gives Miller an extra option year.


A player simply can not be under contract with a different team in a future season. If they could be, the Sox could sign Pujols for 2012 today and he could finish the year with the Cardinals.

#14 BlackJack

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 09:41 AM

A player simply can not be under contract with a different team in a future season. If they could be, the Sox could sign Pujols for 2012 today and he could finish the year with the Cardinals.


Pujols is currently under contract with the Cardinals so Boston can't negotiate with him. I'm not saying you're wrong about not being able to be under contract with 2 teams at the same time, but this particular example doesn't prove that point.

Having said that, I think you're almost certainly correct about this and that Edes just wrote it in a confusing fashion. What I don't get is why this is really a big deal. Players have had options written into their contracts that automatically vest if they get traded - how is that any different than an option that vests if they get claimed on waivers? As you said, it's not like $3M is really so huge of a contract that large market team would be daunted if they wanted him.

I get that it's likely unprecedented as far as MLB contracts are concerned but I don't get why people are up in arms about it. If it really is how HC read it then I get the uproar, otherwise it just seems like the logical extension of options that vest due to a trade.

#15 MrNewEngland

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 09:46 AM

Let's hope he pitched so well that it's not an issue.

#16 Hail Cesar

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 11:01 AM

I did a little more research and found some articles that hint that the MLBPA was gonna take a look at the option, but I didn't see anything definitive about what the league or union thought. I'd like to take a look at the contract itself because of the conflict between what Edes and Cameron say in their articles. The scenario that seems most realistic is the one where the option automatically vests for the team that claims Miller if he's put on waivers. However, if the option really is a Red Sox option that they still hold despite Miller being claimed on waivers, then Theo is freaking brilliant to get that by everyone. Either way, it's still a contract between two parties and if they want to do something outside the box that both sides are agreeable to, then I don't see any problem with it unless the league has the power to void transactions which I'm not sure if they do.




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