In 2022, Shelby Miller helped stabilize the SF Giants bullpen late in the season after a call-up in September. Miller signed a minor league contract with the Giants earlier this year, but is back in the free agent market this offseason. Miller is unlikely to re-sign with the Giants, according to a report by Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle.
“It doesn’t sound like Shelby Miller will be back with the Giants,” Slusser tweeted Wednesday. “[T]hey offered him a minor league deal but he has two big league deals on the table from other teams so far. He looked like he could contribute at the big league level; That’s an area where the Giants could use some help.”
Miller was a high school first pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009 and quickly emerged as a consensus top 100 pick. Miller made his MLB debut in 2012 and was a member of the Cardinals bullpen in the playoffs as they face the Giants in the NLCS.
The following year, Miller became a mainstay in the St. Louis rotation, posting a 3.06 ERA over 173.1 innings pitched. After another impressive season in 2014, in which Miller again pitched against the Giants in the NLCS, Miller was included in a blockbuster trade that sent him to Atlanta for outfielder Jason Heyward.
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Miller had a career year with Atlanta in 2015. He earned the only All-Star selection of his career, posting a 3.02 ERA in 205.1 at bats. Then, in the off-season, he was traded again, this time to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a package that included the most recent first overall pick in the draft (Dansby Swanson).
It’s unclear whether Atlanta and St. Louis knew Miller’s early career success was unsustainable or not, but he almost imploded as soon as he got to Arizona. He recorded a 6.15 ERA in 20 starts and was optioned to Triple-A as the Dbacks tried to get him back to his previous form.
The following year, Miller underwent season-ending UCL surgery. While he has appeared in nearly every major league season since (he retired in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Miller never revived his early career success. From 2018-2021, Miller appeared in 37 games with the Diamondbacks, Rangers, Cubs and Pirates. He compiled a 9.17 ERA in 72.2 innings pitched (37 games) with 57 strikeouts and 48 walks.
This season, however, Miller seemed to find a breakthrough. He spent most of the season with the Yankees and Giants Triple-A affiliates. Between both stops, he recorded 12 saves and a 2.87 ERA in 43 appearances with 69 strikeouts and 21 walks in 53.1 innings pitched. He posted a 6.39 ERA in four appearances with the Giants, but that number is deceptive. He struckout 14 batters in seven innings pitched while walking only one opponent. He had 5.2 shutout innings before giving up four runs in his final appearance of the season.
The SF Giants will probably sign at least one reliever to a big league-contract this offseason. They were recently paired with free-agent closer Kenley Jansen. However, the front office is unwilling to award Shelby Miller a 40-man spot, despite some impressive performances late in the season. There’s plenty of time to change things up this winter, but according to Slusser’s report, Miller will don a different uniform in 2023.