Nationals Rumors: Wade Miley an option to help fill the rotation void

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PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 23: Wade Miley #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 23, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 23: Wade Miley #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 23, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals are on the hunt for a new starting pitcher. There are some Nationals rumors out there connecting them to lefty Wade Miley.

As the MLB Winter Meetings wrap up, there are still Washington Nationals rumors floating around as the team hopes to bolster its rotation. There are now reports linking the team with former Milwaukee Brewers starter Wade Miley.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report the team’s interest in the left-hander, while Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post later confirmed the report. After the trade with the Cincinnati Reds that led to the departure of Tanner Roark, it’s clear the Nats have something lined up for the rotation.

Miley is coming off of an excellent campaign with the Brewers, posting a 5-2 record while sporting a 2.57 ERA in 16 starts. He also impressed in the postseason while making four starts, though one was as an “opener”, recording a 1.23 ERA before the Brewers fell in the NLCS.

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Despite an impressive campaign in 2018, Miley has not lived up to expectations since Bryce Harper pipped him to the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award. Between 2014 and 2017, the lefty recorded a poor 4.89 ERA and 1.469 WHIP as he struggled to miss many bats consistently while bouncing around three different teams.

The benefit of the Nationals pursuing Miley would certainly be around the cost to acquire him, as it would be significantly less than Roark was making. MLBTradeRumors and Jon Heyman predicted him to make $12 million over two seasons, while Heyman’s expert predicted $13 million for those two seasons.

That would potentially save up to $4 million against the luxury tax threshold if Roark makes the $9.8 million in arbitration that MLBTradeRumors projects. They could then use the extra funds to either add yet another starter or potentially delegate it to another need such as second base or the bullpen.

With the trade of Roark, it would be surprising if the Nationals weren’t set to pull the trigger on a starting pitcher in the next couple of days, if not hours. Perhaps they are waiting for the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft to do something when they have more roster certainty, but they could easily pounce on Miley this week.

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While Wade Miley isn’t the name that Washington Nationals fans are necessarily hoping for, he could be a nice cheap flier. Hopefully, we’ll receive more clarity on the team’s starting pitching situation soon.

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