Miller had been rumored to have gotten interest from the Dodgers, Yankees, and other teams before deciding to sign with New York. His $9 million annual average value is the largest ever for a non-closing relief pitcher. The Yankees officially announced the deal Friday afternoon.
The 29-year-old Miller has established himself as one of the best back end relief pitchers in the game. The Yankees bullpen was probably about average last year, as they finished 19th in the majors in ERA, and 14th in FIP, but second in fWAR.
New York's bullpen was fronted by the outstanding pitching from 26-year-old Dellin Betances (5-0, 1.40 ERA, 90 IP) and solid pitching from fellow 26-year-old Adam Warren (3-6, 2.97, 78.2). Closing for the Yankees last season was David Robertson, who saved 39 games in 44 opportunities. However, Robertson is a free agent. Regardless, Miller will only make a promising Yankees bullpen even stronger.
The Detroit Tigers selected Miller with the sixth overall pick in the 2006 MLB Draft out of UNC and was considered one of the best starting pitching prospects in the nation. Miller acted as a starter from 2007 to 2011, but posted a horrific 5.78 ERA in 349 innings pitched with the Tigers, Marlins, and Red Sox.
The Red Sox converted Miller to a relief pitcher full-time in 2012 and he has been brilliant since.
This past year, Miller went 5-5 with a 2.02 ERA, a 193 ERA+, and a 1.51 FIP in 62.1 innings between the Red Sox and the Orioles, who acquired him at the trade deadline. His average 94 mph fastball and sharp 84 mph slider helped him strike out 103 hitters as compared to only 17 walks, posting a whopping 6.06 strikeout per walk ratio. Miller was worth 2.3 fWAR, the highest mark of his major league career.
Miller's phenomenal season will get him $9 million per year for the next four seasons with the Yankees.