Andrew Miller returns to Yankee Stadium 5 days after trade
NEW YORK (AP) Five days after he was traded, Andrew Miller was back at Yankee Stadium with the Cleveland Indians.
''It's kind of weird,'' the reliever said before Friday's series opener. ''It's not the most exciting thing to pitch against these guys after playing with them for the last year and a half.''
Miller signed a $36 million, four-year contract with the Yankees before the 2015 season, saved 36 games, then was bumped back to the eighth inning for much of this year after the Yankees acquired Aroldis Chapman from Cincinnati.
Miller formed the Yankees No Runs DMC bullpen trip with Chapman and Dellin Betances. The T-shirts the Yankees had been selling for $39.99 were gone from the stadium team stores Friday,
''It was neat. I've never been part of a marketing effort, I don't think,'' Miller said.
With the Yankees' record around .500, they traded Chapman to the Chicago Cubs for three prospects and pitcher Adam Warren on July 25, then dealt Miller six days later to the AL Central leaders for four prospects.
''I think CC made it a lot easier on me,'' Miller said in a reference to Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, who pitched for the Indians from 2001-08. ''I went by the clubhouse and was packing my bags, and he told me I was going to love it and the people and the organization were great, the city was great, this and that. He put me in contact with a couple people ... and I think that kind of eased things a little and took a little bit of the nerves out of it.''
Miller, a 31-year-old left-hander, joined his sixth big league team. He pitched for Detroit (2006-07), Florida (2008-10), Boston (2011-14) and Baltimore (2014) before signing with New York.
''Obviously we're all excited to see him, but maybe not so excited to see him in a game,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ''It's a guy that impacted our clubhouse and our team in a year and a half as much as anyone I've ever seen.''
Girardi praised Miller for ''his willingness to say, `I'll step down. I don't need to close. Let's just do whatever it takes to win here.'''
Miller's young son Max will miss playing in the Yankee Stadium family room. But dad already has adjusted to life after the Yankees. He was unshaven.
''It's more just me being lazy. I think I'm not a huge fan of shaving,'' he said. ''If I don't have to, I probably won't very often. But it's not any sort of statement or anything.''
NOTES: Cleveland recalled left-hander Shawn Morimando from Columbus and optioned left-hander Ryan Merritt and infielder Eric Gonzalez to the Triple-A farm team. Utilityman Michael Martinez reported after he was claimed off waivers from Boston. Cleveland designated him for assignment on July 2, then traded him to the Red Sox.