09/01/2009 3:33 PM ET
Cardinals ink Ryan Franklin & Trever Miller to contract extensions
New pacts could keep both relievers in fold through 2011
ST. LOUIS- The St. Louis Cardinals completed a busy day of signings this afternoon by announcing that they have reached agreements on contract extensions for both All-Star closer Ryan Franklin and lefty specialist Trever Miller. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed. Franklin's deal runs thru the 2011 season, while Miller's is for 2010 with a vesting option for the 2011 season.
"We are pleased to announce that both Ryan and Trever will remain in a Cardinals uniform for the foreseeable future," said Cardinals' Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak.
"It is no secret that when we entered spring training, the question of who would be our closer was unsettled," said Mozeliak. " 'Franky' has responded to that challenge in a big way, and our club would not be where we are today without his outstanding performance and leadership."
Franklin, 36, is currently leading the National League with 35 saves and owns the majors' top ERA (1.05) among relievers. Franklin has converted 35 of 37 (94.6 pct.) save opportunities on the season, the 2nd best single-season conversion rate among Cardinals with 30 or more saves, trailing only Tom Henke (94.7 pct. in 1995). Selected to his first All-Star team in July, Franklin last month became just the 7th Cardinals pitcher to compile a 30 save season.
Franklin has held the opposition to a .183 batting average, allowing just two home runs and 14 walks in his 51.2 innings pitched this season. He has converted each of his last 11save opportunities - just the fourth double-digit save streak by a Cardinals closer since 1954.
Since joining the Cardinals in 2007, Franklin has gone 12-11 with 53 saves and a 2.74 ERA in 195 games. His 2.74 ERA is the 5th lowest in the majors since 2007 among relievers with a minimum of 50 saves/175.0 IP, trailing only Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera and Francisco Rodriguez.
Franklin's career mark currently stands at 53-68 with a 4.05 ERA in over nine seasons with Seattle (1999, 2001-05), Cincinnati (2006), Philadelphia (2006) and St. Louis (2007-09).
Miller, 36, was signed by the Cardinals as a free-agent last November and has continued to excel in his role as a left-handed relief specialist, going 4-0 with a 1.77 ERA in 56 games.
"Having the ability to get that one or two big outs in a key situation, against some of the game's top hitters, is a role that Trever has thrived in," said Mozeliak. "Knowing that he will be continuing in that role heading into next year is a key component to our bullpen's make-up as we move forward."
A veteran of nine-plus seasons in the majors, Miller's career totals include an 18-14 mark with 10 saves and a 4.22 ERA in 575 appearances. Miller is ranked 1st among Major League lefthanders in games pitched since 2003, totaling 470 appearances over that seven-year span.
The 6-3, 200-pound Miller has limited left-handed batters to .100 batting mark (8-for-80) in 2009, the top mark in the majors, while fanning 33 and walking just 5. He has allowed just 6 of 47 inherited runners (13 pct.) to score, the 4th best percentage in all of baseball, trailing only teammate Kyle McClellan (8 pct., 2 of 25), Jason Bergmann and Joe Thatcher. Miller has allowed just 30 of 172 (17 pct.) inherited runners to score over the past four seasons - the top mark in the majors (min. 150 inherited runners).
The Louisville, KY native has made stops with Detroit (1996), Houston (1998-99 & 2006-07), Philadelphia (2000), Los Angeles Dodgers (2000), Toronto (2003), Tampa Bay (2004-05 & 2008) and St. Louis (2009) over the course of his big league career.