On Friday, the Cubs made a sneaky good addition to their starting rotation. After the Cincinnati Reds declined Wade Miley's one-year, $10 million option, the Cubs claimed him off of waivers.
Miley's entrance into the Cubs' 2022 starting rotation is understated. Entering the offseason, the Cubs have a few glaring needs, but starting pitching is certainly one of them. While the Cubs may still be active in pursuing a few arms in free agency, adding Miley helps tremendously for next season.
In 2021, Miley pitched to a 12-7 record and 3.37 ERA. In 163 innings over 28 starts, he struck out 125 batters and only walked 50. Miley's 2021 season was greatly overlooked by some, but the 34-year-old pitched incredibly well. Oh, and he also threw a no-hitter.
Why It's a Good Move for the Cubs
Entering the offseason, the Cubs were in need of starting pitching. Even after Miley's addition, the Cubs still need some starting pitching. However, one thing the Cubs desperately needed was left-handed starting pitching. The only southpaw in the Cubs' rotation at any point last season was Justin Steele. Aside from Steele, everyone else was a righty.
In addition, Miley fits the mold that the Cubs' front office was hinting at late in the 2021 season. Those rumors indicated the Cubs would target more one- and two-year contracts this offseason than long-term deals. Now, that's not to say the Cubs won't sign anyone to a multi-year deal, because I believe that isn't true. In fact, if a player fits the plan both now and in the future, then Jed Hoyer and company will target those players with multi-year contracts.
However, returning to the point at hand, Miley's one-year contract provides plenty of flexibility for the Cubs moving forward. If he thrives this season, the Cubs could sign him to another one-year deal next offseason. If he does well and the team as a whole isn't doing well, then the Cubs can flip him for additional capital to build for the future. Lastly, if Miley struggles, then it's no harm, no foul for one season.
The Hammond, Louisiana native is a significant upgrade to the Cubs' rotation. Now, with his addition via waivers, and the price set at $10 million, the Cubs don't have to overpay to acquire a solid left-handed arm for the starting rotation next season. This allows the Cubs even greater flexibility entering the offseason as they start to build the next great Cubs team.