Could the Seattle Mariners Reunite with Brad Miller?

Curtis Christianson
SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 04: Brad Miller #5 of the Seattle Mariners bats against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field on October 4, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 04: Brad Miller #5 of the Seattle Mariners bats against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field on October 4, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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The Seattle Mariners need to make some moves to boost the floor of their team going forward. They played too many games with Dylan Moore, Jake Bauers, and Jake Fraley last year, and they need to bring in utility and bench type players that can play at least at an average level. One of these types of players could be former Mariner Brad Miller.

Brad Miller was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015 for Nate Karns, Boog Powell, and C.J. Riefenauser. He spent 3 years there before bouncing around between several different teams, but he never got more than 100 games of playing time until last year with the Phillies. Miller posted a 107 OPS+, a 105 wRC+, and a 1.0 WAR in 2021, which shows that he was a league average player last year offensively.

To go along with those numbers, Miller’s Baseball Savant advanced metrics are also solid. He had an average exit velocity in the top 90% of baseball last year, a hard hit percentage of over 48%, an expected batting average of .247, and a max exit velocity of 113.9. He also doesn’t chase much and has above average speed, even at the age 32.

Another bonus with Brad Miller is his defensive versatility.

Miller played first base, second base, third base, left field, and right field in 2021. He played most of his games at first base, but the ability to move all around the field would be a boost for the Mariners. He could play the corner outfield spots most of the time, move around the infield a bit, and could also be the designated hitter against right handed pitching fairly regularly.

Miller’s primary offensive downside is that he strikes out over 29% of the time, and defensively, he is below average. He was a negative player in outs above average at every spot he played last year except second base. The Mariners would prefer him to be better on defense, and it’s entirely possible that Miller could benefit from working with defensive coach Perry Hill.

The uninspiring defense is a negative, yes, but he would not be the only Mariner with below average defense. Mitch Haniger was worth -7 outs above average, which was the worst on the team. Abraham Toro was worth -6 and Jarred Kelenic was worth -2. This is not a perfect metric, however, as J.P. Crawford was worth 0 outs above average, and any baseball fan with eyes can see that Crawford is an above average defender.

I believe the type of player that Brad Miller could be is a Robbie Grossman-level player. The two are not perfect parallels, but they are both above-average hitters and below-average defenders, with the main difference being that Miller can play almost every position on the field. The plan would not be for Miller to play all over the field in 2022, but he would probably play the corner outfield a couple times a week, once a week at first or third base, and a few at designated hitter.

Next. Mariners Trade Proposal: Acquiring Adrian Houser. dark

Playoff teams have to have good depth, and while Brad Miller could be one of the more under the radar free agents, he could be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Mariners’ bench in 2022.

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