Teams may be calling with interest in Andrew Miller, but he is not going anywhere and will be a force out of the Cleveland Indians’ bullpen in 2017.
Cleveland Indians fans were given a gift at the trade deadline when Andrew Miller was acquired in a trade with the New York Yankees. A lot of the focus was on the vetoed trade for Jonathan Lucroy, but fans should have been dancing in the streets when Miller was brought to town.
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They were doing so throughout the postseason, as Miller was the most dominant pitcher in baseball until Game 7 of the World Series. He finished the postseason with 30 strikeouts in 19.1 innings of work, not allowing a run until Game 4 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs. He also went at least 1.1 innings in all ten postseason appearances, making it at least two innings seven times.
Miller was the Indians’ knockout blow, driving fear into opposing hitters with his wipeout slider that is nearly untouchable. He appeared in nine of the Indians’ ten postseason victories, showing that his presence usually signals the end for opposing teams.
Miller is currently under contract through the 2018 season, but that does not mean teams won’t try to offer trades that involve the lefty. Jordan Bastian of Indians.com recently wrote an article explaining how Indians GM Mike Chernoff believes teams will call about Miller, although that does not mean he is available.
It would be rude to ignore those phone calls, but there is zero chance the team even considers trading Miller. He is arguably the best reliever in baseball, and being able to use him at any point throughout the game makes him so valuable it can hardly be measured.
So fans should not worry when seeing news about Miller’s name coming up in trade talks, as it is equivalent to teams calling the Cleveland Cavaliers about a trade for Kyrie Irving. It just isn’t going to happen.
2017 is going to be a fun year to watch Miller, as Terry Francona will have to find out the best way to use him during the regular season. The ALCS MVP is not going to be entering games in the fourth inning in May, so it will be fascinating to see what Francona does. But as long as the trio of Miller, Cody Allen, and Bryan Shaw remains, there may never be defined roles out of the bullpen.