Miles Joins the Ranks of the Unemployed

The Cardinals failed to offer the versatile infielder a contract by Friday night's deadline, making him a free agent. Miles is coming off his best offensive season since 2004, posting a career high batting line of .317/.355/.398 (BA/OBP/SLG), while playing mostly at second, but also at third, shortstop and in the outfield, a year that should warrant a new contract from St. Louis for 2009.

According to MLB.com, Aaron Miles was among three players that became free agents Friday when the St. Louis Cardinals failed to offer them contracts for the 2009 season by Friday night's 11 P.M. (CT) deadline.

In addition to Miles, left-handed relievers Tyler Johnson and Randy Flores were non-tendered rather than offered salary arbitration. The three players thus became free agents and could sign with any club, including the Cardinals. Five other players in the same category including, outfielders Rick Ankiel, Chris Duncan and Ryan Ludwick and pitchers Brad Thompson and Todd Wellemeyer, were tendered contracts for 2009.

Miles who played in 134 games last season, hitting .317 (120-for-379), with 31 RBIs and four home runs, was also non-tendered by the Cardinals at the end of the 2007 season, before signing a one year, $1.4 million deal in January of 2008. This past season he earned an additional $150,000 in bonuses for making over 350 plate appearances.

Acquired from the Colorado Rockies with outfielder Larry Bigbie in exchange for pitcher Ray King on December 7, 2005, to serve in a utility role, Miles has often been pressed into the starting line-up, including 81 starts (2B-49, SS-24, 3B-5, LF-3) last season with a solid above average National League fielding percentage at every position played.

Throughout his time in St. Louis the switch-hitting Miles has proven to be a quality player both as a starter and off the bench and certainly has earned at least a contract offer from St. Louis for 2009. Hopefully the decision not to offer Miles a contract Friday is purely a business decision to avoid the possibility of arbitration, and the will sign him to a new contract soon.



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