SF Giants reliever from the 2022 season signs with division rivals

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

Shelby Miller's time in a SF Giants uniform was brief, but he seemed to have taken something positive from his it, which may have helped him land his next contract. The Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Friday that they signed the veteran pitcher to a one-year deal.

SF Giants reliever from the 2022 season signs with division rivals

The contract is a major league deal for $1.5 million in guaranteed salary as well as $100,000 in performance incentives. The Giants had interest in a reunion, but as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported, Miller was unlikely to would return in 2023.

The Giants offered a minor league deal, but Slusser mentioned that he had a pair of major league deals on the table. Evidently, one of those deals was from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Given how his career has progressed, it makes a lot of sense for him to take the guaranteed money. The right-handed hurler was once one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, ranking as high as No. 6 according to Baseball America prior to the 2013 season.

Not only that, but Miller was in demand as he was involved in a pair of high-profile trades. One included longtime outfielder Jason Heyward and the other involved standout shortstop Dansby Swanson.

The second trade was a tough one for Miller. The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired the former top prospect along with pitcher Gabe Speier in a deal that sent Swanson, outfielder Ender Enicarte, and pitcher Aaron Blair to the Atlanta Braves in 2015.

By the time of that trade, Enciarte had established himself as a productive outfielder, whereas Swanson was the first overal pick by the Diamondbacks just six months prior. With that came lofty expectations for Miller.

He failed to live up to those expectations as he battled ineffectiveness and injury. The 32-year-old pitcher had bounced around the league in recent seasons, landing with the Giants in the middle of the 2022 season on a minor league deal.

San Francisco gave him a brief audition where he yielded five earned runs on 14 strikeouts against only three walks in four appearances. He looked electric in his brief time in a Giants uniform, but one poor outing really affected his overall stat line.

Of course, some Giants fans may question why the Giants were only interested in a minor league deal but the Dodgers handed out a major league contract. The answer may be due to the fact that the Dodgers could afford to make that move.

Not necessarily in a financial sense, but the Dodgers' bullpen posted a 2.87 ERA in 2022 compared to a 4.08 ERA by the Giants. The Giants need the help, whereas Los Angeles can afford to be creative. Miller's career has been too volatile for the Giants to pencil him in as a leverage reliever in 2023, but the Dodgers can take on that risk.