Phillies discussing deal with fan-favorite to bolster bench
By Matt Rappa
The Philadelphia Phillies are making final additions to the 40-man roster with spring training set to get underway next week in Clearwater, Florida.
The last significant move on their offseason to-do list is making a bench upgrade, and that very well could be resolved sooner rather than later. According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Phillies are “discussing a contract” — worth between $3 million and $3.5 million for one year — to reunite with utility player Brad Miller.
Last week, Miller was among three veterans linked to the Phillies as possible bench additions. The others were the switch-hitting utilty player Marwin Gonzalez and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
‘Bamboo’ Brad Miller could soon be returning to the Phillies.
The left-handed-hitting Miller quickly became popular among Phils fans when he joined the team mid-season in 2019.
Fans dubbed him as “Bamboo Brad” for his good-luck bamboo plant that brought the Phillies some late-season success, before ultimately missing the postseason in what was the final year under then-manager Gabe Kapler.
The eight-year veteran slashed .263/.331/.610 with 12 home runs and 21 RBI while wearing red pinstripes, but was not retained for the 2020 season. Last year with the St. Louis Cardinals, Miller slugged eight doubles, seven home runs, and 25 RBI in 48 games.
Considering the designated hitter will not be a part of the National League this coming season, Miller’s value would not only come as a reliable bench bat — but also his versatility. When Miller pinch hits, manager Joe Girardi has several fielding options where he could be double-switched. With the Phillies in 2019, Miller played four different positions, including third base, the corner outfields, and shortstop. The Orlando, Florida native also played second base for the Cardinals in 2020.
Bringing back Miller just feels right at this point in the offseason. The team has made solid additions across the board, and adding a fan-favorite like him to the mix would only generate more excitement with the season not too far away.