The SF Giants might have helped a veteran reliever earn a guaranteed contract for next season. However, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that right-handed hurler Shelby Miller will likely not be back with San Francisco in 2023.
Report: SF Giants veteran reliever from 2022 season unlikely to be back next year
Slusser adds that the Giants have extended Miller an offer for a minor league deal but he has also received multiple major league deals as well. This is great news for the 32-year-old pitcher as he has bounced around the league in recent years while struggling to solidify a role with a team.
Earlier in his career, Miller was considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, ranking as high as No. 5 according to MLB.Com prior to the 2012 season. He was involved in a pair of high-profile trades as well.
The first trade was a blockbuster move that sent the righty to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for star outfielder Jason Heyward, who was shipped to the St. Louis Cardinals. Miller spent one season with the Braves, registering a 3.02 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 1.24 WHIP, 7.5 K/9, and a 2.34 SO/W ratio in 33 starts. Oddly enough, he led the league in losses (17) despite strong overall numbers.
The second trade was a five-player deal that sent Miller to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for three players including Dansby Swanson and Ender Enciarte. The Braves overwhelmingly got the better part of that deal as Miller struggled to live up to the high expectations that followed.
He battled the injury bug as well as he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017. He returned in 2018 but struggled to regain the form that once made him one of the top prospects in baseball. His time with the Diamondbacks came to an end after the 2018 season and he made stops in a number of organizations including the Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, and Pittsburgh Pirates before landing with San Francisco.
He signed a minor league deal with the Giants midway through the season where he was assigned to the Sacramento River Cats In 27 appearances with Sacramento, Miller recorded a 3.62 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 12.2 K/9, and a 2.93 SO/W ratio before earning a promotion to the Giants.
In his brief time in a Giants uniform, the veteran pitcher was electric. He recorded 14 strikeouts against only three walks in seven frames. However, he allowed five earned runs in one of his four appearances, so his ERA (6.43) looked rough.
That said, he opened some eyes as teams are willing to offer him a major league deal this winter. The Giants need bullpen help, so bringing back Miller made some sense. Clearly, they are committed to only offering a minor league pact, so the hurler will likely be pitching elsewhere next season.