Brad Miller

Good day for former Phils to find work

The unemployment level for former Phillies went down Thursday as no fewer than five former Phillies found gainful employment with other clubs. The group includes outfielders Corey Dickerson and Travis Jankowski, infielder Jonathan Villar and pitcher Archie Bradley. The most notable signing was former utility man “Bamboo” Brad Miller, who got a two-year deal with the Rangers.

Miller, 32, had a nice season last year with the Phillies when he hit 20 homeruns and slashed a line of .227/.321/.453 while getting over 300 plate appearances, a much higher amount than he was expected to get while in Philadelphia. Miller played first, second, third, left and right for Philadelphia. His 20 home runs were the second most in his career, falling short of the 30 home runs he hit in 2016 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. His 49 RBI were also second only to the 81 he collected in that same season. His deal with Texas will guarantee him $6-million in 2022 and another $4-million in 2023.

The utility man became a fan favorite in Philadelphia not just because of his numbers but because of the good luck charm – a “lucky” Bamboo plant he purchased in Chinatown while the Phillies were in New York to play the Mets. The team was in the middle of a 6-15 run, including having lost their last seven games when Miller showed up at the park with the lucky plant. The Phillies swept the four game series against the Mets, winning all four games in dramatic fashion and the plant became the team’s official good luck charm. Unfortunately, there was not enough luck included in the plant to get the Phillies into the playoffs.

The 30-year old Jankowski landed a minor league deal with the Mets that will pay him $1.25-million if he makes the major league club. Jankowski is known for his defensive prowess and also served as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner for manager Joe Girardi. In 76 games with the Phillies, the seven-year veteran hit .252/.364/.351 with the Phillies after spending five seasons with San Diego and a quick stint with Cincinnati in 2020 before signing with the Phillies prior to last season. In his time in the majors, Jankowski is a career .239 hitter with an on-base percentage of .322 and a slugging percentage of .318 and he has stolen 69 bases in 92 attempts. The Mets are getting a quality utility outfielder who can play all three outfield positions with strong defensive metrics at all three spots.

Archie Bradley signed a one-year deal with the Angels that will pay him $3.75-million. His new job in Los Angeles will mark the fourth major league team that he has played for after being drafted by Arizona before being dealt to Cincinnati in August of 2020. Bradley signed a free agent deal with the Phillies last January and pitched in 53 games with a record of 7-3 an ERA of 3.71 and he picked up two saves for the Phillies. Bradley has 30 career saves, with his highest season total coming in 2019 as a member of the Diamondbacks, recording 18 saves.

Corey Dickerson played part of the 2019 season in Philadelphia after being acquired from Pittsburgh for international slot money and a player to be named later. With the Phillies, Dickerson hit eight home runs in 34 games to go with a .293 average. The 2019 season was the most productive of Dickerson’s career when he slashed 12-59-.304/.341/.565 while playing with the two Pennsylvania teams. He made his only all-star team in 2017, representing the Rays, and took home his only Gold Glove the following season in Pittsburgh.

Villar never actually played in the majors with the Phillies, but signed with them as an amateur free agent in May, 2008. He was a top infield prospect with the organization and was included in the deal with Houston that sent Anthony Gose and J.A. Happ to the Astros for pitcher Roy Oswalt at the 2010 trade deadline. Villar was later dealt to Milwaukee and then sent to Baltimore before the Orioles swapped him to Miami and the Marlins wound up dealing him to Toronto. Following the 2020 season, Villar signed with the New York Mets as a free agent and again entered free agency following last season. Villar, who will turn 31 in May, got a one-year, $6-million deal from the Cubs that includes a mutual option for 2023. There are also performance clauses in the deal that could earn him raises throughout the season.

In all or part of nine MLB seasons, Villar has a line of 98-325-.258/.326/.403 and has over 3,700 plate appearances.

These signings are in addition to Andrew McCutchen getting a one-year, $8.5-million contract with the Brewers on Monday and Roman Quinn getting a minor league deal with a spring training invitation in Miami last Saturday.

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