A couple of former Dodger relievers joined new organizations Wednesday on minor league deals. Cory Wade inked a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, and Justin Miller the elder signed with the Seattle Mariners. Both pitchers became minor league free agents on November 6, Wade as non-40-man roster player with at least six years of minor and major league service time, and Miller by declining a minor league assignment.
The Dodgers struck gold on the reliever roulette wheel in 2008 when Wade had a fine rookie season, putting up a 2.27 ERA in 71 1/3 innings out of the bullpen, when he wasn't busy getting spotted at Rubio's in Pasadena. Wade battled shoulder problems in most of 2009 and 2010, as he went on the disabled list twice in 2009 and missed three months earlier this year after arthroscopic surgery in March. Wade, who was drafted by the Dodgers in the 10th round of the 2004 draft, was outrighted to Triple A Albuquerque on July 1, removing him from the 40-man roster.
The 33-year old tattooed Miller, not to be confused with 23-year old reliever of the same name who was identified by Brandon Lennox as a "must add" to the 40-man roster, signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers last winter, and pitched with the big league club for two months in 2010. Miller pitched pretty well out of the bullpen, putting up a 4.44 ERA with 30 strikeouts against eight walks in 24 1/3 innings. In fact, Miller is in select company as one of the few Dodgers ever, in their 127-year franchise history, to strike out at least 11 batters per nine innings:
|Dodgers With 11+ K/9|
|min. 20 IP, Source: Baseball-Reference.com|
Miller was designated for assignment on July 23, but his departure from the Dodger 40-man roster will forever be linked to the major league arrival of one Kenley Jansen, who was recalled from Double A Chattanooga on the same day.
In other Dodgers minor league news, the Dodgers last week re-signed LHP Abner Ruiz and SS Christian Lara to minor league contracts, per Baseball America.
In other news, Frank and Jamie McCourt are expected to return to court Friday to hear the proposed non-binding mediation settlement in their divorce trial, per Bill Shaikin and Carly Hall of the Los Angeles Times.