Andrew Miller’s Vesting Option

You can say this about the Red Sox front office – they are remarkably creative in their never-ending attempts to find an advantage. Their latest beat-the-system gimmick is perhaps the most unique – I would also accept “sneakiest” – one yet. As first reported by Alex Speier, Boston struck a deal with Andrew Miller that essentially circumvents the waiver process.

Here’s the basics – Miller signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox, with the plan being for him to begin the year in Triple-A. If he is called up at any point, they will have to pass him through waivers before they can re-assign him to Pawtucket, as he is out of options. If Miller had a good showing in his time in the big leagues, there would be a decent chance that another team would have taken a shot at him, and used the waiver process to grab him for themselves. So, to prevent that from happening, the Red Sox gave Miller a $3 million option for 2012 that vests if he’s claimed on waivers by another team.

This essentially guarantees that Miller will slide through waivers unclaimed, giving them the right to assign him to their Triple-A affiliate even though he’s out of options. Effectively, this contract structure gives Miller an extra option year. My initial reaction is that the Sox are gaming the system – much like they attempted to do by signing Felipe Lopez for the final week of the season and then offering him arbitration in order to try and collect a draft pick – but after considering it a bit more, I’m not sure that this falls into the same category.

By his own admission, Miller is quite happy about the clause, and is perfectly content with the organization’s plan for him this year. The option system was essentially put in place to keep organizations from stockpiling young talent and holding them back in the minors against their will. It was mostly designed as a tool to help young players reach the big leagues in a timely fashion.

In this case, however, Miller is a willing party in the decision to send him to Pawtucket. He’s not being oppressed by the Red Sox, but instead, they have jointly agreed that this is the best course of action for the team and Miller this year. However, the rules would not allow Miller to get called up and then be re-assigned to Pawtucket without the chance that he could be exposed to waivers, so they found a loophole that gives them the ability to bounce Miller between Boston and Pawtucket if need be.

Is Miller better protected by being forced to pass through waivers, where he could end up with a franchise that he might not want to play for? It seems like this move is what Miller wants, and so a rule designed to protect a player’s interests should not stand in the way of his own wishes. Without this clause, the Red Sox would be reticent to call Miller up for any period of time until they were certain they could carry him for the remainder of the year, but now, he’ll be able to be called upon should the Sox need him for a few weeks (and, as a result, make Major League pay for that timeframe).

While the Sox are exploiting the rules, they are not exploiting Miller. I wouldn’t be surprised if other teams complained about this kind of clause, but perhaps we should note that it’s only necessary because a rule that was designed to help players sometimes works against them.




Print This Post



Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


69 Responses to “Andrew Miller’s Vesting Option”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. M.Twain says:

    I’ll bet you a dollar the Red Sox don’t get away with that.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • He wanted the clause in his contract, so I think it’s fine. It’s essentially a win-win for him: if he gets sent down to AAA, he gets the seasoning he wants. If a team claims him, he get’s a major league contract worth $3 Million. Don’t see what the BoSox could get caught on.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • M.Twain says:

        The player’s union will object. It may work for Miller, but it’ll encourage other teams to try to subvert the waivers process. I’m surprised MLB let it go.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • I doubt the Player’s Union would object. The union is for the betterment of the players. If a player saw this and said, “hey, why don’t I do this as well,” why should the Union object.
        The only thing I could see getting in the way is to prevent the Red Sox from stockpiling too many young players, at that point, MLB would get involved.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • M.Twain says:

        But it WILL hurt players. A contract that has a clause which effectively circumvents the waivers requirement is worth more to a team than one without. Teams will begin to insist that players accept the clause or else they don’t get the contract.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • theonemephisto says:

        What would be the purpose of that? If the teams don’t offer the players contracts, then the players become free agents, which is good for them. It just seems like the players have all the power here. They have to agree to the contract as well, so if they want to stay in one organization, they have a little bit more ability to do so, but if they want that chance that waivers gets them to get to the bigs, then they can have it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Twain, I understand your point, but I don’t think that could happen. If teams required it in the deal, why would these players sign? It’s doubtful no other team would be willing to sign them to a regular minor league contract.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • M.Twain says:

        The players this will affect will be marginal players. They may not have a lot of choices, so why wouldn’t the team attempt to get more control? It might also make sense for the player at the time he signs, but then circumstances could change.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason F says:

      They aren’t getting away with anything. The player signed the contract. They didn’t force him to do so. He knew exactly what he was getting himself into and if he didn’t, then it’s time for him to find a new agent.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • M.Twain says:

        It’s kind of like the “Prisoner’s Dilemma”. It could be good for individual players, but collectively it hurts them. The whole idea behind the player’s union is collective bargaining.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        Alex agreed to a pay cut in order to facilitate his trade from Texas to Boston, and the PA said no.

        If the union believes it will inhibit player movement, and at least in this case it certainly does, they will challenge it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B N says:

        I think it depends a lot on if it’s a player option. If this is a player option, there is basically no downside to the player. You end up in the following situations:

        1. You get put through waivers, a team claims you. You can make them claim your option, no matter how ridiculous it is, as part of your contract.
        2. You get put through waivers, a team claims you. You can decline to enforce your option, allowing the team to have you based upon the terms of your current contract. (Though since the new contract is better than your old one, probably, you would never do this unless you REALLY wanted to go to another team).
        3. You don’t get put through waivers or you get put through and nobody claims you.

        To be quite honest, that would seem like a great deal to me.

        With that said, if it’s a vesting option its a bit different. Though based on the “option” formulation, the player probably still wins monetarily. They basically get a signing bonus if a team picks them off waivers. If they were worth this bonus, a team would pay it and take the player.

        To observe the spirit of the law, they should probably ban vesting options for this and enforce that they have to be player options. That way, no loss for players in any condition.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. My thoughts exactly. Miller wants to be able to develop as a pitcher, so he willingly allowed the clause in the contract. I’m interested to see if the Red Sox can find any value in a guy who was once such a prime talent.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. MikeS says:

    As you pointed out, the rule exists not just to protect the player but to prevent teams from stockpiling young talent. Just like reverse draft order this rule exists for competitive balance too. I’m sorry if Andrew Miller only wants to play baseball in Boston or Pawtucket, that’s not the way the system works. Young players get drafted, promoted, demoted and traded. Become a ballplayer, see the country. Miller is with his third organization and looks to have played for at least 7 different minor league clubs when with the Tigers and Marlins as well as both those parent clubs. Adding Boston and Pawtucket would be as many as 11 different cities. so maybe he is more interested in geographic stability than a shot at the majors. The Red Sox are clearly gaming the system and if MLB allows this to stand these clauses could become almost as commonplace as no trade clauses. It would be easy to offer a player a little more money in his base salary if he’ll sign a contract with this clause in it. At that point the player is effectively giving away his rights to catch on with another club for a little short term gain.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MGP says:

      ” At that point the player is effectively giving away his rights to catch on with another club for a little short term gain.”

      Not really, since if Miller gets sent down he can still be claimed on waivers by another team. They’ll just have to pay him extra.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Derek says:

        Agreed MGP. I also don’t think this will inhibit marginal players like Miller from moving around like some people are saying.

        If Miller didn’t have this clause in his contract. The Red Sox would just not bring him up to the Major level they would just bring up someone with options.

        This type of clause would only be beneficial to the team for players with no options and this clause is beneficial for most players without options because it gives them more of a chance to pitch in the Majors.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Bgaw says:

    I’m a little more worried about the precedent this sets than I am about Miller’s happiness. We’re only talking about minor league free agent contracts here, so it’s not THAT big of a deal, but I could see this kind of clause becoming somewhat common, and if worst comes to worst, being something that numerous contracts are contingent upon.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve says:

      It was a smart move by the Bosox. I do see other clubs trying it themselves and I don’t see anything wrong with it. Every year, there are only a handful of players on each team entering their option years. A team could not pressure a player already in their organization into accepting such a clause. If the player refuses, the team renews his contract and unless I’m mistaken, that contract could not include any options. For marginal free agents, a team being able to include the option is actually a way to help the player get a contract. Teams are reluctant to sign a player that they don’t see as being able to stick on their 25 man roster, but who they would like to be able to call up at some point in the season. Why sign a guy in the first place, if you figure you’re going to lose him on a waiver claim? The problem is not with the loophole the Bosox found, but with the system in place. As for teams, stockpiling players in their minor league system to the detrement of major league ready players, the Rule 5 draft is more effective at preventing that.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. okobojicat says:

    The clause it not only to protect the player, but also to encourage the club to promote OTHER players. Let’s say I’m a AA pitcher, who’s having a good year. Let’s say a starter from the Red Sox starter goes down with an injury that will put him out for a month. Miller, who’s been impressive at AAA, gets called up to make 7 major league starts but he doesn’t wow anyone, so he’s getting sent back down. Because of the clause, he goes back down, but that pitcher at AA is stuck. He should’ve been promoted to replace Miller AAA, who should’ve been picked up by the Mariners in the waiver wire mix.

    The waiver wire doesn’t just exist for that player, but for all other players in order to get more players to the major league level faster.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • joe says:

      Good point… people are looking at this purely from Miller’s and RedSox perspective without looking at the unintended consequences to other players in the system as well as future minor league deals for players without options.

      Suppose a player has only one minor league deal offer and the team decides makes the deal contingent upon a waiver clause?

      It’s humorous that the Red Sox even bothered to make this look passable with a 3mil figure… why not just make it 50mil and be a little less subtle?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MikeS says:

      Good point. This happens the other way around all the time. Player goes down and the big club needs a fill in. They pass over one minor leaguer who is out of options for a guy who has options left because they know this is a two week thing, tops. Or they bring back a guy they used earlier in the year instead of a new guy because they don’t use another option that way.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Jim says:

    Theo is a baller.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Jonas says:

    Is Tampa Bay gaming the system too by officially signing Felipe Lopez to a minor-league contract to avoid giving a pick, even though it’s obvious that Lopez will make it to the major leagues?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • I don’t think its obvious Lopez will make it to the major leagues. It’s likely, but certainly not guaranteed.

      I don’t see the problem here. By all accounts Miller had multiple contract offers from teams and made a decision which he believed was the best for his career long term to sign with Boston and accept the contract they offered him. I don’t think this sets any precedent, and I fail to see what Lopez taking a minor league contract had to do with it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Diaz says:

      Two reasons why that point is wrong:

      A) As a type B FA, Tampa would not have to surrender a pick to sign Felipe Lopez. Yes one would be given to Boston, but it would have been from thin air. And no Tampa did not sign Lopez just to secure the 75th spot and not lose it to the Sox and slide to 76.

      B) Dozens of players on minor league contracts get promoted to Majors each year, Lopez will be no different than the rest.

      But as a Sox fan I do wish it was a ML deal.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jonas says:

        A. You’re right. But given that it’s doubtful there will be realignment soon, Tampa Bay is also interested in preventing the Red Sox having a good pick for their future-building.

        B. I guess my worry, like the main topic here, is about precedents.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • cpebbles says:

        If you watched any of Lopez last year you’d know that the Rays have more than plausible deniability in not guaranteeing him a contract.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Julian says:

    What happens if another team claims Miller and decides not to trade for him? Would the Red Sox have to pay the $3M?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TerryMc says:

      If a team claims Miller they must accept him. Often when team place a player on waivers and a claim is issued the offering team revokes the waiver and then the two teams discuss a trade but if the offering team does not revoke then the claiming team has to take the player. The classic example of this is the Padres attempt to block another team (Braves?) from picking up RP Randy Myers from the Blue Jays assuming that the Jays would pull him back but instead they salary dumped on the Padres who didn’t want the player.

      Based on how this article is written it sounds that Millers option kicks in with the claim regardless of the transaction settlement so it would be up to Boston to pull him back and pay the option or let Miller go to the claiming team who would assume the option.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • M.Twain says:

        You may be right. If Boston has to pick up the option if someone else claims him then I don’t think it’s a problem. But I don’t think they’d be able to send him to the minors if they revoked waivers.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jimmy the Greek says:

        This happened with Cody Ross and the Giants this past season. They claimed him to block him from going to the Padres, and got stuck with his salary.

        Guess it worked out for them, though.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. hunter says:

    For all of you arguing that there is no issue since Miller willingly agreed to the deal, I would kindly direct you to Alex rodriguez and his deal with (irony ) Boston that would.have cut his salary.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Ari Collins says:

    If a free agent trades the ability to be claimed by other clubs for stability, though, isn’t that his choice? I don’t know how the union could object to that.

    Even if teams start offering a little extra money in a FA contract in order to get the player to effectively agree to sign away his ability to be claimed by another team, he’s getting paid for that right.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Ken says:

    This is essentially a poison pill, which is perfectly fine if the parties are in agreement.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Anthony says:

    Why is this bad for the union? It’s a contract. Meaning, both parties have to agree to it. So the only way a player would agree to it is if they feel it benefits them. It’s not like the only offers (well maybe, collusion does happen) will be like this to players similar to Miller. It’s not like ML teams don’t cheat on their books and just about any other way they can possibly do anyways. This is just one we caught. Players in general should be getting paid higher based on economic principles, as in, how much you bring in to a company. They don’t though because the market hasn’t done it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason says:

      If the MLB rules be damned, I’m sure many fringe minor leaguers would agree to take far less than the league minimum just to play in the big leagues. It might be a good for the individual, but bad for the group as a whole.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. joe says:

    Dave Cameron – since the Sox aren’t exploiting Miller, the deal is OK?

    So the only interests relevant are the 2 parties involved? External impacts are irrelevant?

    Have you considered impact to minor leaguers in the Red Sox system who may be blocked for an extra year thanks to this rule? Other teams? Future players out of options who may not get multiple offers like Miller and be forced to take a poison pill deal or get no deal at all? How about other unemployed FA pitchers who may have had a shot if the Red Sox did not want to risk Miller to waivers?

    I realize Theo is a God around here but to view this contract only through the impact to Miller and the Red Sox, and use that criteria to justify it is a bit weak… at least explore the potential external impacts before passing judgment..

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • joe says:

      I meant minor league prospects blocked thanks to this contract? (not rule)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • dutchbrowncoat says:

        any new player acquisition would block the path of players. im sure the signing of agon and crawford is going to block the time of some sox youngsters this year too, maybe the red sox shouldn’t have acquired them either. that is a weak excuse to hate.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CooperNB says:

        But that’s exactly WHY Theo is “a God around here.” He made a good move for the Red Sox. His responsibility is not to players at large, other teams, or the MLB…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B N says:

        CooperNB has it dead on. It’s a poison pill, a great game-theory-type move. And considering they are LITERALLY playing a game, I think that would typically be expected, no?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. Eric M. Van says:

    Complaints about the immediate effect on other players are kind of nonsensical. It’s a zero sum industry. If Miller went elsewhere on waivers, he would have a negative effect on opportunities on players in that system precisely equal to the negative effect he would have on players in the Sox system by staying there.

    In terms of setting a precedent … What people are missing, I think, is that this is a rare situation where a player has become convinced that he needs to stay all year with a particular organization which he believes is uniquely equipped to help him turn his game around.

    What is missing from the story is that the Red Sox already successfully gamed the system. They traded for Miller and then non-tendered him, which is the only way to get a player off the MLB roster without subjecting him to waivers. In the meantime, they had convinced Miller that they were the organization he needed to be with to get his stuff together, and he re-signed with them, knowing he would go to AAA, when other clubs had reportedly promised him a chance at their rotations.

    So the vesting option is just the second half of this “extra option year” mechanism. And the only reason Miller re-signed with the Sox at all, let alone accepted the “poison pill,” is his belief that he needs to spend the whole year with them. That’s not going to happen too often around the game, so there’s no reason to fear a rash of such clauses. Players would just turn down the offers and sign elsewhere. (It would take collusion for all clubs to start offering them unilaterally, and if that happened the Players Union would correctly complain).

    +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Completely disagree with the main tenet of your acceptance of this practice. History is filled with examples where the employee is ‘willing’ to accept all sorts of unpleasant stuff in his contract because, like here, they have little leverage. Let this practice continue and sooner or later some player will be told, ‘this is how all the contracts work, take it or leave it’. He’ll still be willing at that point, but it completely negates the systematic practice the rule is designed to prevent.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • At least in this case Miller had leverage. He was free agent according to what I read he had offers from other teams on the table but chose to go to the Sox knowing he’d sign a minor league deal with this clause in it. I don’t see what the fuss is about.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tom says:

        Not every player will have multiple offers? (And may be forced to accept a similar clause)

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Eric M. Van says:

        @Tom — What are the odds that a team likes a player so much that they want to guarantee he’s with them all year, but no other team is interested at any price? Get serious.

        I agree that if teams collude to make this S.O.P., it’s big trouble. But as long as it’s confined to exceptional cases like Miller’s, it’s simply not problematical.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Eric M. Van says:

      Where was there little leverage? He was a freaking free agent. He had offers from teams who promised he could compete for a major league job in ST. He accepted the vesting option willingly because he liked the guarantee of spending the entire year in the Red Sox organization; from his POV the vesting option is not “unpleasant”; it’s the precise opposite. For the time being *he prefers to pitch in the minors for the Red Sox versus the majors for anyone else*, and he wants / needs / gets $3M to overcome this preference.

      If other teams can find guys who would rather pitch for them in AAA than for anyone else’s MLB team, then all the power to them to offer similar options. We may never see it again.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. bpdelia says:

    Listen, I don’t like it because it CLEARLY is attempting to avoid a system that has been in place and been effecive for a long time. More than that, just because the player agrees to it doesn’t makeit right. It’s not just abou Miller. It’s about the real possibility that EVERY other team now does this in these situations. Yes it’s not a huge deal but it is obviously a way to avoid the waiver system.

    I just think it’s distasteful and that it has ramifications beyond Miller.

    This could be one with all sorts of rehabbing players. It’s just a terrible precendent and I would hope the league and union can see this is not in the best interest of anyone other than (MAYBE) Miller and the Sox in this one narrow circumstance.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Miller (the player) stands to make an extra $3 million if he switches organizations. He wants to stay with Boston (obviously) but if he doesn’t he gets $3 mill. How is it a terrible precedent for the player?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tom says:

        For Miller.. none.

        For other players who may not have multiple offers to pick and choose from? Shockingly, not every player has multiple offers to choose from, what if the only offer (or two) they get is one with a poison pill that they don’t want to agree to, but have no choice?

        If a player is out of options, he’s out of options… this sets up a means of circumventing that, which might work to the player’s benefit in this specific case, but may not have such a happy ending in other cases. Is the league going to setup a player happiness factor to decide when a contract like this is OK and when it isn’t?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Davor says:

    Isn’t there a rule saying that player who was put through waivers once and was sent to minors has the right to chose to decline the assignment second time even if noone claims him? If he was sent through waivers previously, he gives up exactly nothing with this contract. Infact, he gains the ability to chose where he wants to go. If he wasn’t sent through the waivers, he gives up one chance for changing organization.
    I think that PA would love such vesting option for every player who has already been through the waivers once.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Grant says:

    The Red Sox are the Goldman Sachs of baseball.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Pedro says:

    And your mother is the whore of West Windsor.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Eric says:

    I think the key to this is Miller, not the Red Sox. My guess is you could offer this deal to 100 players in his situation and 99 of them would not take it. If Miller wants the clause, what’s the problem?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • tom says:

      The other 99 might not have another offer without the clause.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • hkades says:

      @ Eric: I agree. Miller is unique. How many minor league free agents are going to want to include a clause that forces them back to AAA instead of keeping them in MLB?

      @ tom: I also agree with you in that the “must pass through waivers to return to the minors” clause is in there to protect the players. If the Miller clause becomes standard operating procedure for minor league free agents, the players have suffered a blow and; therefore, the MLBPA may reject it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. walkoffblast says:

    I think what people saying the players union will have a problem with this fail to understand is the only thing that Miller is sacrificing is his chance to get a shot in the majors quicker with another team. This is something he already consciously decided by not taking a different offer. The players union actually probably likes this. Who will not like this is the smaller market teams.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. hernandez17 says:

    Holy crap this is a lot of text to devote to Andrew Miller.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. Jon says:

    This is pretty smart for the Sox to do. Miller still has some upside even though he has been a disappointment in the past with the Marlins and Tigers. This is low risk, high reward.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Me says:

    I don’t agree with the assessment that this move potentially blocks other players within the system from seeing the bigs. First of all, I’m pretty sure that ANY team is going to call up the player that they feel has the best opportunity to help them win. This clause gives the Sox another option. If Miller in AAA is having a better year the Joe Blow in AA, and they’re able to call him up for a few weeks to fill in without the risk of losing him to the waiver process, what’s the problem? The pitcher in AA likely isn’t ready, or else he would’ve been called up ahead of Miller.

    I do agree, however, that the Sox are gaming the system. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. You can’t fault them for that, because there isn’t a rule in place to prevent it, likely because no one had thought of this before. If it becomes and issue, you can guarantee it will be addressed. No rules are being broken, and until they are, I would expect my team, your team, or ANY team to get whatever advantage they can whenever they can and however they can, so long as it is within the current rules. Good job Sox.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. Alby says:

    In a sense, this is similar to contract clauses that make an option automatic with a trade. But there’s an important difference.

    What proponents of this move are missing is that this gives Boston a way of manipulating not just the waiver process but the 40-man roster. To add Miller to the major-league club, he will have to be added to the 25-man roster. To send him back down, the Bosox can remove him from the 40-man without worrying about losing him on waivers. This extra flexibility is both an unfair competitive advantage and a near-guarantee that other clubs will start looking for similar deals with AAAA-type players.

    The only way to make this fair would be if the 2012 option became automatic for all 30 clubs, not just the other 29. In other words, the Bosox could send him down — but then they’d be on the hook for the $3 million themselves.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Me says:

      I understand that it gives the a competitive advantage, but I wouldn’t call it “unfair.” I fully expect every team to do whatever they can to get whatever advantage they can, even if it’s questionable. The name of the game is winning, and if they find a way to do that, that is within whatever rules are currently in place, then more power to them. Like I said, if it becomes an issue, it will be addressed by the league and/or player’s union. Who knows, this may be the case that makes it illegal in the long run. But right now what they’re doing is perfectly legit, even if it is to circumvent a particular rule. I’d want my man on 2nd stealing signs too.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. No Longer Long Suffering Giants Fan says:

    Sounds like a smart move to me. One of the many reasons the Red Sox continue to be successful.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Jack LeLaine says:

    The contract is not the issue…the bigger deal to me here is that both the Red Sox and Miller seem willing to give and receive some coaching. Miller’s still got an interesting arm, and the Red Sox have done an interesting job coaching good arms so…could be a decent match.

    Sounds like a smart move for both sides honestly.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. Darrick says:

    Gordon Eades wrote a great piece about Andrew Miller on espn.com that helps shed light on this subject. It seems that Miller took his time making the decision to sign with Boston. Several teams pursued him and some even offered Major Leage contracts. It appears that Miller’s attorney initially proposed the idea of a “protection” clause. Miller was searching for a team that would help him realize some of his immense potential. If the Red Sox are indeed that team and he is improving during the season, the last thing he would want is to be claimed off waivers by another team. It seems that Miller saw this free agent opportunity as the chance to find a perfect fit for his talent and his potential. Just as the rules on waivers and options protect young players, free agency rules reward players for achieving freedom. Andrew Miller simply used the levearge of free agency to get the best deal for Andrew Miller, including some protection that he will likely remain in the Red Sox “system” for at least one entire season. The Red Sox didn’t “game” the system; Andrew Miller took care of Andrew Miller. Good for him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. Patrick says:

    New injury insurance strategy for the Yankees:

    1 – Create new Class A affiliate
    2 – Stock with bargain bin free-agents signed to contracts that pay them
    1M/yr when in the minors, 2M in the majors, & 5M if cliamed off waivers
    3 – Wait for aging veteran to get injured
    4 – Call up Suitable above replacement level fill in
    5 – Once aging veteran healthy return super sub to minors
    6 – Repeat steps 3 through 5 until you’ve bought another world series
    7 – Laugh at small market teams with lower payrolls than your new minor league club

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Mike G. says:

    Of course its entirely possible that a team like the Yankees could claim him and look at the $3MM as a viable cost if it hurts the Red Sox.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *