The SF Giants quietly added an intriguing reclamation project to bolster organizational depth. Former All-Star Shelby Miller agreed to a minor league deal, per the team's transaction page.
SF Giants bolster organizational pitching depth by signing former All-Star
The right-handed hurler has been assigned to the Sacramento River Cats and pitched a scoreless outing for them on Wednesday evening.
Earlier in his career, Miller was one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, ranking as high as No. 6 according to Baseball America prior to the 2013 season.
He immediately showed off that type of potential against major league hitters. In a brief call-up with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012, the righty posted a 1.32 ERA with 16 strikeouts against four walks in six appearances.
He solidified himself with the Cardinals in the ensuing two seasons as he registered a 3.41 ERA, 7.5 K/9, and a 2.28 SO/W ratio in 62 starts.
In a surprise move, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves in a blockbuster deal that sent Jason Heyward to the Cardinals. Miller earned an Al-Star nod in his lone season with the Braves.
With Atlanta, Miller generated a 3.02 ERA while leading the league with 33 starts. Oddly enough, he also led the league in losses with 17. This is probably a good reminder that win-loss record is not necessarily a good way to evaluate a pitcher.
Miller continued to be in demand on the trade market as he was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks after the 2015 season in a trade that sent Dansby Swanson and Ender Enciarte to Atlanta.
This proved to be a disastrous move for the Diamondbacks as Miller struggled to the tune of a 5.78 ERA in parts of two seasons before undergoing Tommy John surgery. In fairness to Miller, it felt like the Diamondbacks put unnecessarily high expectations on the former top prospect.
The 31-year-old pitcher returned to the mound with Arizona in 2018, making five appearances before becoming a free agent. Since then, Miller has racked up the frequent flyer miles as he has made stops with the Texas Rangers (2019), Milwaukee Brewers (2019 - 2020), Chicago Cubs (2021), Pittsburgh Pirates (2021), and the New York Yankees (2022) before landing with the Giants organization.
Of course, a lot of that travel came in the minors as Miller has tallied a total of 56.2 frames on a major league mound since 2019. It feels like a long time ago when the right-handed hurler was one of the more promising pitchers in baseball, but the Giants need depth and he checks that box. Plus, he offers considerable upside if he can tap into the type of pitcher he was much earlier in his career.