Dust off your bamboo plants.
According to MLB Network‘s Jon Heyman, the Philadelphia Phillies and veteran utility-man Brad Miller are “finalizing” a one-year deal, which Heyman says will be worth “$3 million plus.” MLB.com‘s Jon Morosi had reported Friday morning that the two sides were ‘moving toward’ a contract.
This will be Miller’s second stint with the Phillies, who initially acquired him in a trade with Cleveland two summers ago. Miller became a cult hero for the Phillies during the summer of 2019, homering 12 times and posting a .941 OPS in 118 at-bats. Though the Phillies would ultimately collapse in September, Miller brought a bamboo plant with him into the clubhouse for good luck upon his arrival, which coincided with some short-term success for the team.
Miller joined the St. Louis Cardinals for the 2020 season, capitalizing on his success with the Phillies to earn more playing time elsewhere. In 142 at-bats in the pandemic-shortened season, Miller homered seven times and drove in 25 runs.
Now 31, Miller figures to be the first option off the bench for Joe Girardi in 2021. With the DH not currently slated to return to the National League for this upcoming season, it will be more important to have a strong group of options to pinch hit.
Additionally, Andrew McCutchen is 34, and Matt Gelb of The Athletic suggested earlier this week that the Phillies plan to manage his workload over the course of a 162-game season. Miller could be an option to get some at-bats in left field. He also could potentially fill in for Rhys Hoskins if the first baseman isn’t ready for opening day after having offseason surgery on his left UCL.
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