Andrew Miller
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Cardinals sign Andrew Miller to two-year, $25 million contract

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It was reported last night that the Cardinals and Andrew Miller were closing in on a deal. That deal appears now to have been struck: Ken Rosenthal reports that St. Louis has signed him to a two-year, $25 million deal with a vesting option for a third season at $12 million with a $2.5 million buyout. The option will vest if he pitches a total of 110 games over the next two seasons. He’ll also receive a full no-trade clause.

Miller, 33, was limited to 34 innings out of the bullpen last season due to hamstring and knee injuries, and those injuries contributed to him having his worst season since becoming a full-time reliever. He finished the year with a 4.24 ERA and a 45/16 K/BB ratio in 34 innings. When healthy, however, he has been one of the top relievers in all of baseball. Between 2014 and 2017 he posted a 1.72 ERA while striking out 14.5 batters per nine innings and walking 2.3 batters per nine innings.

Whether the Cardinals will make him their closer or, rather, treat him like a high-leverage fireman as the Indians and Yankees did, is up in the air. Either way, though, the Cardinals have a potentially devastating new weapon in their bullpen.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.