Cubs Add Wade Miley Off Waivers From Reds

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The Cubs made a significant move to improve their starting rotation on Friday by claiming left-hander Wade Miley off waivers from the Reds. Cincinnati had opted to waive the 34-year-old left-hander rather than picking up his more than reasonable $10 million option. The team had apparently searched for a trade partner over the last couple of weeks with no success. Reds general manager Nick Krall indicated earlier in the week that the team would be shedding salary, stating they would "align our payroll to our resources." By simply declining his option rather than waiving him, Cincinnati saved themselves from paying a $1 million buyout. This gave the Cubs the chance to add the veteran starter and pick up his option themselves.

Miley had a strong 2021 season, posting a 3.37 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 125 strikeouts over 163 innings. His signature moment came on May 7 as he tossed the league's fourth no-hitter of the season against Cleveland, striking out eight hitters and walking one. Miley gives the Cubs a veteran left-handed starter capable of providing solid innings. He tossed at least six frames in 16 of his 28 starts, going at least seven innings in ten of those starts. Miley joins Kyle Hendricks as solidified starters, while Adbert Alzolay, Alec Mills, and Justin Steele currently fill the rest of the rotation.

For the Reds, Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, and Vladimir Gutierrez are in line for starting spots. Given that they're unlikely to spend on any starting pitching, prospects Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene could get an opportunity to fill out the rotation. Lodolo pitched to a 1.84 ERA over 44 innings in Double-A last season before giving up four runs across three appearances in Triple-A. Greene recorded a 1.98 ERA over 41 frames in Double-A before seeing a similar rough patch in Triple-A, where he posted a 4.13 ERA over 65 1/3 innings.

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Kyle Schwarber declined his $11.5 million mutual option with the Red Sox and is now a free agent. You can't blame the 28-year-old outfielder for testing the free-agent market after posting a .266/.374/.554 slash line with 32 homers over just 471 plate appearances. A good chunk of Schwarber's production came in a monstrous month of June in which he blasted 16 homers while hitting .280. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury in early July put a stop to his torrid stretch. Still, he came back and hit .291 with seven home runs across 41 games in the second half. With the likely addition of the designated hitter in the National League, Schwarber should have plenty of suitors lined up for his services.

Quick Hits: The Astros signed Dusty Baker to a one-year deal to return as the team's manager in 2022... Joc Pederson declined a $10 million mutual option for 2022 and is now officially a free agent... Lance Lynn is in the midst of a 3-4 week rest and rehab period for his ailing right knee but will be ready for the start of spring training... The White Sox declined Cesar Hernandez's $6 million option... The Giants claimed Hunter Harvey off waivers from the Orioles... Mark Melancon declined his $5 million player option for 2022... Alex Colome had his $5.5 million option declined by the Twins... The Giants declined Johnny Cueto's $22 million option for the 2022 season... Cleveland declined Roberto Perez's $7 million option... The Angels purchased the contract of Brendon Davis from Triple-A... The Pirated claimed Greg Allen off waivers from the Yankees... The Red Sox claimed Tim Locastro off waivers from the Yankees... The Giants claimed Austin Dean off waivers from the Cardinals...