Cubs starter Wade Miley was asked whether he still knows anybody on the Reds.
“There’s a few over there still,” Miley said with a laugh. “But, yeah, they’re cleaning house a little bit. I’m sure they have a plan in store.”
Not that he’s so sure what that plan exactly is.
“They've got to, right? You don’t do things without a plan,” Miley added. “I think Nick (Reds GM Nick Krall) is going to do a good job over there getting that thing going right. Best of luck to them.”
Miley was one of the first players Cincinnati cut ties with this offseason amid cost-cutting measures. With his 2022 option decision approaching, Cincinnati tried to trade Miley, who credited the Reds’ communication and transparency in that process.
Cincinnati was unable to find a buyer, and their loss was the Cubs’ gain. They claimed the lefty off waivers from the Reds in early November and picked up the $10 million option.
“It's a great group of guys," Miley said of the Cubs. "I’m excited to join this team and see where we can go.”
He certainly helps the Cubs’ chances to compete.
Starting pitching was the Cubs’ biggest need this offseason — even before the lockout delayed spring training, shortening pitchers' ramp-up time and presenting concerns around early-season workloads.
Miley, 35, went 12-7 with a 3.37 ERA in 28 starts last season, tossing 163 innings. In 2019, the previous full 162-game season, he finished with a 3.98 ERA in 33 starts (167 1/3 innings).
In adding him and Marcus Stroman, the Cubs have three experienced starters atop their rotation, along with Kyle Hendricks.
The lockout did have its challenges. Miley was cautious in his build-up due to uncertainty around when spring training would begin and entered camp behind other Cubs starters.
But he’s an 11-year veteran who knows his body better than anybody else and has expressed optimism he’ll be ready for the season, even with the short ramp-up. The Cubs also have the option to push back his debut; there’s an off day on April 11 before a brief two-game series in Pittsburgh.
And there’s a level of familiarity with the Cubs to ease his transition. Miley has pitched in the NL Central three of the past four seasons (2018 with Milwaukee, 2020-21 with Cincinnati).
“I’ve thrown against [the Cubs] so much,” Miley said. “I don’t think I missed a start against them last year.
“They have the information and technology in all these ballparks. They know everything I’m going to do, so I think that’s a step that will help it out and make it a smoother transition.”
Miley, who said he was impressed last year by the young arms that debuted with the Cubs, is looking forward to getting things going.
"I’m excited to get to know them and maybe can learn from them," he said. "Maybe they can learn from me. I'm super excited about this."
Contributing from Arizona: Gordon Wittenmyer