The Red Sox have continued their remarkable streak of avoiding arbitration by agreeing to terms with left-handed relief pitcher Andrew Miller. Miller is the last Red Sox player to avoid arbitration, and there had been talks that an extension may be in the works. However, the contract was just a one-year deal worth $1.9 million, just slightly above the midpoint of the figures that Miller and the team had exchanged months ago.
Last season, Miller was having a breakout year before suffering a foot injury in June. Through 37 games (30.2 innings pitched), Miller had posted a superb 2.64 ERA along with an otherworldly 14.1 K/9 rate (though he did walk 5.0 batters per nine as well). A hard-throwing left-hander, Miller was effective against both righties and lefties last season and was actually more effective versus right-handed hitters (allowing a .526 OPS compared to a .725 OPS against fellow southpaws).
Entering his third season exclusively as a reliever, a healthy Miller will likely open the 2014 season as a fixture in a strong Boston bullpen. Miller has vowed that he will be ready for the beginning of the season and will start the year as one of the four setup men that the Red Sox have. If he can remain healthy for a full season, he has a chance to turn in a truly dominant year out of the bullpen in his contract year and possibly merit an extension from the Red Sox.