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MLB Roundup 2/1: Astros sign Wade Miley

And Nolan Arenado reaches record-setting arbitration agreement

MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Wade Miley signs with the Astros

We have an old friend alert, as one of the starters coming off one of the more surprisingly solid seasons available in free agency has found a new deal. That refers to Wade Miley, who was better than you remember in Boston, but certainly not good. He’s been wandering around the league for a few years since then, but then had a shockingly good season in 2018. Well, at least if you only look at ERA. Miley was one of the key pitchers on a Brewers team that was one win away from a World Series berth and finished the year with a sub-3.00 ERA. As a reward, he got a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Astros.

On the one hand, this is a cheap deal for someone who just had a great year at preventing runs. Plus, if anyone can identify strengths and build on them in the league right now, it’s the Astros. On the other hand, Miley struck out fewer than six batters per nine innings and walked three per nine, with most his success coming from an ability to prevent home runs. That was a very new skill for the lefty, and if he regresses in that area things could get ugly quickly. Houston’s rotation is not complete, and they have help coming from the minors, but if Miley is a prominent part of their rotation it is good news for the Red Sox.

Nolan Arenado and Rockies avoid arbitration

Mookie Betts, coming off an MVP season, got a huge arbitration deal worth $20 million, but it wasn’t the highest of the season. No, the Rockies and their biggest star just broke a record. After looking like he was going to go to a hearing with Colorado, Nolan Arenado agreed to a $26 million deal to avoid arbitration. That is obviously a huge deal, though it’s closer to what the team was offering than what the player was asking for. Still, it’s a big deal for the Rockies to get this out of the way, and it paves the way now for negotiations that will likely last all year with the perennial MVP candidate. Arenado is currently set up to lead next winter’s free agent class, but the Rockies would love to keep the face of their franchise in town. The Red Sox would love to see an extension worked out between now and November, as the Yankees are expected to be a player for the star third baseman if/when he’s available. Obviously, that was said about Bryce Harper and Manny Machado as well, but better safe than sorry, right? Plus, Arenado is perhaps my favorite non-Red Sox player in the league, so I’d prefer not to take any chances that he plays in pinstripes.