Seattle Mariners Wade Miley: Fantasy Rebound in 2016?

As the MLB Winter Meetings are in full swing, we have seen a lot of early movement as teams are sifting through which upgrades they are going to target heading into 2016. As some of the bigger names have come off the board already, there will be more moves that may not move the nettle as much so to speak, but still have potential fantasy impact.

As the Red Sox made the biggest earliest splash this offseason by signing David Price, they did however as a result, run into the problem of a muddied rotation picture due to the nearly six or seven options they now had. One of biggest downfalls of the Red Sox’s 2015 season was that they highly depended on a litany of question marks in their rotation and it proved to be an issue that they could not overcome. One of the biggest culprits of the rotations collapse was, Wade Miley, who as a result found himself being shipped to Seattle today.

Over his five year career, Miley’s production has been hard to pinpoint as he at times as looked like a stud and most other times has looked like a number five starter in the bigs. So far, his peak years have been in 2012 and 2013 where he was able to muster an ERA of 3.33 and 3.55 respectively. He seemed to have found a nice home in Arizona as a solid mid rotation piece and a widely overlooked fantasy option. But, the last two years have seen him regress, especially ERA wise.

The move from Arizona to Fenway was a pretty lateral move ballpark wise as both ballparks play small. In 2015, Miley just seemed as though he could not continually put a solid string of solid starts all last season, as he was prone to some pretty ugly lines during his Red Sox tenure. Miley’s specific struggle is hard to locate as his 2015 splits were pretty aligned with his career norms. The biggest outlier was the near two point drop in his SO/9 compared to the 2014 season, but this drop made actually made his totals nearly identical to what they were during his peak seasons.

His hits allowed were consistent and his walks allowed last season actually dropped as well, which makes his struggles even more perplexing. For me, I chalk his struggles to better competition in the AL and the fact that he never got comfortable in Boston which was highlighted by his mid-season eruption directed at John Farrell.

Now that he is with the Mariners he looks to be Seattle’s answer to hopefully replacing the efficient innings that Hisashi Iwakuma took with him to the Dodgers. The one thing that Miley does bring is durability. He has over 30 starts each of the last three years and has not thrown less than 193 innings over that same time.

Even though his ERA’s say otherwise, Miley has actually never had a FIP over 4.00 since he became a full time starter in 2012, so he has shown the ability to offer quality innings. Miley will have to love finally getting away from calling Chase Field and Fenway Park his home ballpark, as he will finally move to a pitcher’s paradise in Safeco Field.

From a fantasy perspective, Miley looks the part of a late round rebound flier as most of the fantasy community will take time forgetting about Miley’s rough 2015. It appears as though based on his peripherals that his stat line should not have been as bad as it was, so there has to be some silver lining in that fact.

Continue to watch him in the spring and maybe even let him go undrafted to see how he looks in Seattle, but I do think that Miley will have some fantasy relevance this season. It will all depend on just how much you are willing to invest in a player that could prove to be prime bounce back option. Continue to monitor him heading into 2016.

Early 2016 Projections: 13 W/3.85 ERA/1.15 WHIP/150 K