Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Revisiting Boston's Miley Extension

Photo credit: The Sports Quotient
(In light of yesterday's Rick Porcello extension, I just wanted to say my piece about Wade Miley, who received his own contract extension nearly two months ago).

The Boston Red Sox must really like Wade Miley. Not only did they trade three players (Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, and Raymel Flores) to the Arizona Diamondbacks for him last December 12, but they also signed him to a three-year, $19.25 million contract extension before he threw a single pitch for them.

"I think, obviously, with Wade going into his first arbitration year, he's a guy we traded for for a reason—because we like him and we believe that he's going to help us win games," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington toldMLB.com’s Ian Browne. "When we traded for him, our full expectation was that he could be here for a while.”

Though Miley is coming off a down year in which he went 8-12 with a 4.34 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, Boston determined that he would be a good fit and proposed an extension. Miley expressed interest as well, allowing the two sides to strike a deal on February 5, over two weeks in advance of spring training.

"While we've gotten to know him a little better since the trade, we felt very comfortable with who we were acquiring even before the trade,” Cherington told Browne. “So it made these talks relatively easy, because aside from his performance and durability, he's got a reputation as a good person, a good clubhouse guy, a good teammate. So it made it easier to get into this kind of conversation.

"And so we were either going to try to figure out a one-year number either through a settlement or a hearing or look at some different model or different contract,” Cherington continued. “And I think there was interest from Wade, and he expressed through his agent Tom O'Connell about looking at that."

Miley, 28, is also elated to be part of Boston’s long-term plans and looks forward to beginning his Red Sox career.

"I'm just excited to get the commitment and everything, and hopefully everything works out and we're going to win some ballgames," Miley said via telephone to MLB.com. "I'm just thrilled to be a part of this Red Sox Nation and be a part of the organization and excited to get it going."

The former National League All-Star will feature prominently in Boston’s remade rotation, which has only one holdover—Clay Buchholz—from last year’s Opening Day staff. The southpaw joins newcomers Rick Porcello and Justin Masterson in trying to help the Red Sox rebound from a last place finish. Unlike his new rotation-mates, Miley faces the additional challenges of adjusting to the American League and a ballpark that is notoriously tough on left-handed pitchers. As of yet, however, he does not intend to modify his approach.

“I just try to get guys out at all costs, really. I don’t care what pitch I’m throwing,” Miley said in his teleconference. “My goal is to just try to get hitters out and give [Boston] a chance to win.”
Cherington cited Miley’s health and makeup as reasons for the extension.

"The best predictor of future durability and performance is past durability and performance," Cherington explained to Browne. "He's taken the ball consistently. He's been a guy that was relied upon by Arizona. Aside from his durability, we had done a lot of work on Wade prior to the trade, just in terms of what kind of guy he was. We had a lot of confidence in what type of person Wade is before we traded for him.”

The contract includes a $500,000 signing bonus and covers Miley’s three arbitration years, paying him $3.5 million this year, $6 million next year and $8.75 million in 2017. The deal also includes a $12 million club option for 2018, which would allow Boston to prevent him from reaching free agency that year. The option has a $500,000 buyout should the Red Sox decline it.

Miley will get his first taste of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry when he makes his Boston debut at Yankee Stadium on Friday.

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