GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — The Reds went in a slightly different direction when they signed left-hander Wade Miley in the offseason, departing from their preference for developing or trading to acquire starting pitching.
Instead, they chose to spend a considerable amount of money on a free agent.
Miley got a $15 million, two-year deal from the Reds, who lacked a left-hander in the rotation. Miley, 33, will get $6 million this year and $8 million in 2021. There's a $10 million club option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout.
Miley can earn an additional $500,000 annually in performance bonuses based on innings: $50,000 each for 140, 150, 160 and 170, and $100,000 apiece for 180, 190 and 200.
Alex Wood was the only left-handed starter last season, and injuries limited him to seven starts. He left Cincinnati as a free agent after the season.
Getting a left-hander for an already solid rotation was a priority this offseason.
“We face lineups that left-handers can be more effective against," manager David Bell said. "You can't always line it up that way but it is going to happen. As we get into it we may be able to line it up. It is not absolutely mandatory to have a left-hander but it is definitely an advantage.”
Miley has reached the playoffs each of the last two seasons with Milwaukee and Houston. Last year, he struggled in September, going 1-2 with a 16.68 ERA, and made one relief appearance in the playoffs. Overall, he was 14-6 with a 3.98 ERA for Houston.
The Reds were interested in Miley in part because pitching coach Derek Johnson knows him from Milwaukee, where Johnson was the pitching coach in 2018.
“He was a good player on good teams, but most of what I know about him and how he competes is from DJ," Bell said.
Miley kept in contact with Johnson last year and was enticed by the possibility of a reunion in Cincinnati.
“I've always liked the National League better," Miley said. “Derek Johnson was a big part of it. This is a good ballclub; I'm looking at what they've done. I'm excited about being with them to take that next step.”
The Reds committed $165 million in the offseason to sign Miley, second baseman Mike Moustakas, outfielder Shogo Akiyama, outfielder Nick Castellanos and reliever Pedro Strop, looking to end a streak of six straight losing seasons.
Miley joins a rotation that includes 2019 All-Stars Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, along with Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani.
“It's exciting to see,” Miley said. “This is a talented group and I'm proud to be a part of it.”