I’m not sure how much of a decision this is anymore.
You have to think about halfway through this season that every power-that-is in the Orioles’ organization – and there are plenty of them – reached the consensus that lefty Wade Miley’s 2018 option won’t be picked up.
But I heard the faintest whisper – the occasional if – about Miley’s future with the club in August when he strung together a 2.60 ERA in five starts. If the Orioles pick up his $12 million option … Maybe $12 million isn’t out of the question for a veteran lefty ….
Well, August was a long time ago in Miley starts.
The 30-year-old Miley allowed six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings Wednesday in a loss to the Boston Red Sox. He’s now 8-14 with a 5.52 ERA. He’s given up 16 earned runs in his past 10 1/3 innings spanning three outings.
And he did Wednesday what he’s done most of the season: He walked too many guys. Against Boston, it was four free passes; on the season, it’s a major-league high 88 in 153 1/3 innings. In his 42 starts for the Orioles, he is 10-19 with a 5.69 ERA and 103 walks. He’ll probably get one more start to alter those numbers ever so slightly.
A few weeks ago, we wrote on this site that Miley was probably the Orioles’ No. 3 starter if they made the postseason. That was more about what the others weren’t doing than what Miley had accomplished.
But there should be no hesitation concerning Miley’s club future now.
Paying $500,000 to buy out his option is a no-brainer. Even though that means the Orioles have only two starters in their 2018 rotation: Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy.
The expectation is that Chris Tillman, Ubaldo Jimenez and Jeremy Hellickson will all walk as free agents this winter, and by not exercising Miley’s option, the team is woefully thin in the rotation heading into the winter.
To save $11.5 million, I say take emaciated.
Miley will find a job. He is left-handed. He’s relatively young, 31 in November. He’s had some bright spots this year. And some good seasons in the past.
But the Orioles need a mulligan on this rotation that is on pace to post the worst starters’ ERA in club history.
And I don’t care if the going rate for a veteran starter on the free agent market ends up being $12 million. The point is the Orioles tried Miley in Camden Yards and in the AL East. It hasn’t gone swimmingly.
The guy took the ball every fifth (or sixth day) and was a stand-up presence in the clubhouse while doing it. And, who knows, he may end up revitalizing his career somewhere else next year.
That’s OK. I wish him well. And everyone should move on.
Frankly, I’ve never lamented the fact that the Orioles dealt away lefty Ariel Miranda to Seattle to get Miley. I’m not a believer in Miranda as a big league pitcher. It was worth the chance, if not the money, I suppose.
The Orioles took a shot at a resurgence. Miley couldn’t throw strikes consistently. Now, he can be sent away with a handshake, a ‘thanks for your effort and professionalism’ and a $500,000 buyout.
That should be the end of this story.