The arrival of Aroldis Chapman to the New York Yankees puts the spotlight on Andrew Miller, the team’s closer last season, who is now obviously at the center of trade rumors, with the Chicago Cubs mentioned as the most interested party.
Miller is now part of a bullpen that has Chapman and Dellin Betances. While the Yankees are starting their plan is to hold onto all three relievers in order to protect their relatively weak and inconsistent bullpen, you can never tell what the true intention of a ball club is, and there’s always a price which makes teams change their minds about players.
So what’s the price regarding Miller? Rather high, and although the Cubs do have the talent to pull it off, the question is whether or not they’re willing to go in that direction. They’ve already made some big signings this offseason to make some news, but they’ve yet to add something significant to their bullpen. They do have Hector Rondon as their closer, but when it’s a Joe Maddon team we’re talking about, it means there’s an interest in having a deep as possible bullpen.
Miller, turning 31 in May, has played just one season with the Yankees, albeit a very successful one. He was 10th on the Cy Young voting after posting a 2.04 ERA, his third consecutive season with an ERA below 3.00. He finished with 36 saves in 61.2 innings played, averaging 14.6 strikeouts per nine innings. Like Betances, he has said he has no problem with Chapman joining the Yankees and the bullpen, even if it means he’s probably going to be given a different role, at least earlier in the process, before changes come, if they ever will.